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Full text of "Economic co-operation among Negro Americans. Report of a social study made by Atlanta University under the patronage of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C. together with the proceedings of the 12th Conference for the Study of the Negro Problems, held at Atlanta University, on Tuesday, May the 28th, 1907"

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The Atlanta University Publications, No. 12 





A Social Study made by Atlanta 
University under the patronage 
of the Carnegie Institution of 
Washington, D. C. 


The Atlanta University Press 


Jti ZA-AXl Z_A_Xi 

I AM convinced myself that there is no more 
evil thing in this present world than Race 
Prejudice ; none at all. I write deliberately 
it is the worst single thing in life now. It 
justifies and holds together more baseness, 
cruelty and abomination than any other sort 
of error in the world. Thru its body runs the 
black blood of coarse lust, suspicion, jealousy 
and persecution and all the darkest poisons of 
the human soul. 

[ H. G. WELLS in the New York Independent] 






Report of a Social Study made by Atlanta 
University, under the patronage of the 
Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C., 
together with the Proceedings of the 12th 
Conference for the Study of the Negro 
Problems, held at Atlanta University, on 
Tuesday, May the 28th, 1907 




The Atlanta University Press 



b 1 

V V 7ER ihnen (i. e. the Negroes of Africa) selbftan- 
* * dige Erfindung und Eigenen Geschmack in ihren 
Arbeiten abspricht, der verschliesst sein Auge absicht- 
lich den offenkundigen Thatsachen, oder Mangel an 
Kenntniss derselben macht ihn unfahig zum competenten 
Beurtheiler. Soyaux. 

A MONG the great groups of "natural" races, the 
Negroes are the be& and keenest tillers of the 

ground. Ratzel 

" HE market is the center of all the more birring life 
in [African] Negro communities, and attempts to 
train him to culture have made the moft effedual art 
from this tendency. Ratzel. 




Resolutions of the Conference 4 

Preface 5 

Select Bibliography of Economic Co-operation among Negro Ameri 
cans 6 

Part I. The Background 10 

Section 1. The Scope of this Study 10 

Section 2. Africa 12 

Section 3. The West Indies 18 

Section 4. The Colonies 20 

Part II. The Development of Co-operation 24 

Section 5. An Historical Sketch 24 

Section 6. The Underground Railroad 26 

Section 1. Emancipation 32 

Section 8. Migration 45 

Part III. Types of Co-operation 54 

Section 9. The Church 54 

Section 10. Schools 73 

Section 11. Beneficial and Insurance Societies . . . . 92 

Section 12. Secret Societies 109 * 

v Section 13. Co-operative Benevolence 128"" 

Section 14. Banks 134 ~ 

Section 15. Co-operative Business 149 # 

Section 16. The Group Economy 179^ 

Section 17. The Twelfth Atlanta Conference 181 


Resolutions of the Conference 

The Conference regards the economic development of the Negro 
Americans at present as in a critical state. The crisis arises not so 
much because of idleness or even lack of skill as by reason of the fact 
that they unwittingly stand hesitating at the cross roads one way 
leading to the old trodden ways of grasping fierce individualistic com 
petition, where the shrewd, cunning, skilled and rich among them will 
prey upon the ignorance and simplicity of the mass of the race and get 
wealth at the expense of the general well being; the other way leading 
to co-operation in capital and labor, the massing of small savings, the 
wide distribution of capital and a more general equality of wealth and 
comfort. This latter path of co-operative effort has already been 
entered by many; we find a wide development of industrial and sick 
relief, many building and loan associations, some co-operation of arti 
sans and considerable co-operation in retail trade. Indeed from the 
fact that there is among Negroes, as yet, little of that great inequality 
of wealth distribution which marks modern life, nearly all their eco 
nomic effort tends toward true economic co-operation. But danger 
lurks here. The race does not recognize the parting of the ways, they 
tend to think and are being taught to think that any method which 
leads to individual riches is the way of salvation. 

The Conference believes this doctrine mischievously false, we believe 
that every effort ought to be made to foster and emphasize present 
tendencies among Negroes toward co-operative effort and that the 
ideal of wide ownership of small capital and small accumulations 
among many rather than great riches among a few, should persistently 
be held before them. 


R. P. SIMS, 

W. E. B. DuBois. 




This study, which forms the twelfth of the annual publications of 
Atlanta University, and the second investigation of the new decade, is 
a further carrying out of a plan of social study by means of recurring 
decennial inquiries into the same general set of human problems. The 
object of these studies is primarily scientific a careful search for truth 
conducted as thoroughly, broadly, and honestly as the material re 
sources and mental equipment at command will allow; but this is not 
our sole object: we wish not only to make the Truth clear but to present 
it in such shape as will encourage and help social reform. Our financial 
resources are unfortunately meagre: Atlanta University is primarily a 
school and most of its funds and energy go to teaching. It is, however, 
also a seat of learning and as such it has endeavored to advance knowl 
edge, particularly in matters of racial contact and development which 
seemed obviously its nearest field. In this work it has received unusual 
encouragement from the scientific world, and the published results of 
these studies are used in America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Scarcely 
a book on the Negro problem or any phase of it has been published in 
the last decade which has not acknowledged its indebtedness to our 

On the other hand, the financial support given this work has been 
very small. The total cost of the twelve publications has been about 
$13,000, or a little over $1,000 a year. The growing demands of the work, 
the vast field to be covered and the delicacy and equipment needed in 
such work call for far greater resources. We need, for workers, lab 
oratory and publications, a fund of $6,000 a year, if this work is going 
adequately to fulfill its promise. This year a small temporary grant 
from the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D. C., has greatly helped 

In other years we have been able to serve the United States Bureau 
of Labor, the United States Census, the Board of Education of the 
English Government, many scientific associations, professors in nearly 
all the leading universities, and many periodicals and reviews. May 
we not hope in the future for such increased financial resources as will 
enable us to study adequately this the greatest group of social problems 
that ever faced America? 

Select Bibliography of Economic Co-operation 
Among Negro Americans 

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Allen, Walter. Governor Chamberlain s Administration in South Carolina. 544 pp. 
London and New York, 1888. 

American Negro and his economic value. B.T. Washington. International Monthly , 

American Negro Artisan. T. J. Calloway. Cassier s Magazine, 25:435-45. 

Allen, Richard. First Bishop of the A. M. E. Church. The life, experience and gos 
pel labors of the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen. Written by himself. Philadelphia, 
1798. 69 pp., 8vo. 

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colonizing of the Free People of color of the United States. Numbers 1-72, with 
minutes of the meetings and of the board of directors. 1818-1889, 8v., 8vo. 

Anderson, Matthew. Presbyterianism and its relation to the Negro. Philadelphia, 

Arnett, B. W. The Budget for 1881-1884. 651 pp. 
The Centennial Budget. 1887-1888. 589 pp. 

The Budget, containing annual reports of the general officers, etc., 1885-6. 575 pp. 
The Budget, 1891. 241 pp. 
The Budget, 1901. 78pp. 
The Budget of 1904. 873pp. Philadelphia. 

Bacon, Benjamin C. Statistics of the colored people of Philadelphia. Phila., 1856. 
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Blyden, Edward Wilmot. Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race. Introduction 
by Samuel Lewis. London, 1887 (4), vii (1), 428 pp., 12mo. 

Boston, Mass., Grammar School Committee. Report of a special committee of the 
grammar school board. Abolition of the Smith colored school. Boston, 1849. 
71 pp., 8vo. 

Brackett, Jeffrey Richardson. The Negro in Maryland. A study of the institution 
of slavery. Bait., 1889 (5), 268 pp. (Johns Hopkins University Studies, extra 
vol. 6),8vo. 

Buecher, Carl. Industrial Evolution, translated by S. M.Wickett. 393pp. New York, 

Bradford, Sarah H. Harriet, the Moses of Her People. 171 pp. New York, 1901. 

Banks, Ohas. Negro Town and Colony. Mound Bayou, Miss. 10 pp. 

Brooks, Chas. H. (Grand Secretary of the Order). The Official History and Manual 
of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows in America. A Chronological Treat 
ise, etc. 274pp. Philadelphia, 1902. 

Boas, Franz. Commencement Address at Atlanta University, May, 1906. Atlanta 

University Leaflet No. 19, 15 pp. 
Colored People s Blue Book and Business Directory of Chicago, 111. 1905. 

Colored men as cotton manufacturers. J. Dowd. Gunton s Magazine, 28:254-6. 

Condition of the people of color in Ohio. With interesting anecdotes. Boston, 1839. 
48 pp., 12mo. 

Constitution of National Association of Colored Women. Tuskegee, 7 pp., 1898. 

Constitution of the National League of Colored Women of the United States. Wash 
ington, 1892. 

College-bred Negro, Atlanta University Publication, No. 5. 115pp., 1900. 

Bibliography 7 

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John Gloucester, also appendix containing sketches of all the colored churches 
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Cincinnati convention of colored freedmen of Ohio. Proceedings, Jan. 14-19, 1852. 
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Clark. Negro Mason in Equity. 

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Campbell, Sir George. White and Black in the United States. 482 pp., London, 1879. 

Delaney, Martin R. Condition, elevation, emigration and destiny of the colored 
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DuBois, W. E. B. The Negro in the Black Belt: Some Social Sketches. In the Bul 
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Denniker, J. The Races of Man. 611 pp., New York, 1904. 

Eaton, John. Grant, Lincoln and the Freedmen. 331 pp., New York, 1907. 

Edwards, Bryan. History, civil and commercial, of the British Colonies in West 

Indies. 3 vol. London, 1807. 

The Economic Position of the American Negro. Reprinted from Papers and Pro 
ceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Meeting of the American Economic Asso 
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Fourth Annual Report of the Colored Woman s League. 13 pp. Washington, Janu 
ary, 1897. 

Freedmen s Saving Bank. Bankers Magazine. 29:936; 86:14. 

Freedmen at Port Royal. E. L. Pierce. Atlantic. 12:291. 

Freedmen s Saving Bank. Old and New. 2:245. 

Fletcher, Frank H. Negro Exodus. 24 pp., 8vo. 

Games, W. J. African Methodism in the South. Atlanta, 1890. 

Gannett, Henry- Occupations of the Negroes. Balti., 1895. 16pp., 8vo. 

Garnett, Henry Highland. The past and present condition and the destiny of the 
colored race. - Troy, 1848. 20 pp., 8vo. Plates. 

Goodwin, M. B. History of schools for the colored population in the District of 
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Grimke, Archibald H. Right on the Scaffold. Washington, r.toi. 27 pp., 8vo. 

Grimshaw, Wm. H. Official History of Free Masonry, etc. New York, 1903. 392 pp., 

Georgia State Industrial College for Negroes. L. B. Ellis. Gunton s Magazine, 

Gibbs, M. W. Shadow and Light. 372 pp., Washington, 1902. 
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Georgia Equal Rights Convention. 16 pp. Macon, February, 1906. 

Grand United Order of Odd Fellows. Journal and Proceedings of General Meeting. 
48 Reports, 1843-1907. 

Howard, O. O. Autobiography. 2 vol. New York, 1907. 

Hayford, Casely. Gold Coast Native Institutions. 418 pp. London, 1903. 
t Hampton Conference Reports, Annually, 1897-1907. 

Hickok, Chas. T. The Negro in Ohio, 1802-1870. A Thesis, etc. 182 pp. Cleveland, 

Hilyer, Andrew F. The Twentieth Century Union League Directory. A Compila 
tion of the .Efforts of the Colored People of Washington for Social Betterment. 
174 pp. Washington, 1901. 

Jones, Robert. Fifty years in the Lombard Street Central Presbyterian Church. 
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Knights of Labor and Negroes. Public Opinion. 2:1. 

Love, E. K. History of the First African Baptist Church. Savannah, 1889. 

McPherson, J. H. T. History of Liberia. Balti., 1891. 61 pp., 8vo. 

8 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Moore, J. J. History of the A. M. E. Z. Church. York, Pa., 1880. 

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Washington April, 1900. 

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Negro Exodus, 1879, J. B. Runnion. Atlantic. 44:222. 
Negroes in Baltimore, J. R. Slattery. Catholic World. 66:519. 
Negro Exodus, 1879, J. C. Hartzell. Methodist Quarterly Review. 39:722. 
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The Negro in the cities of the North, Charities. Vol. 15, No. 1. New York, October, 


The Negro Common School, Atlanta University Publication, No. 6. 120 pp.. 1901. 
The Negro Artisan, Atlanta University Publication, No. 7. 200 pp., 1902. 
The Negro Church, Atlanta University Publication, No. 8. 212 pp., 1903.* 
The Negroes of Farmville, Va. In Bulletin of the Department of Labor, No. 14. 
Negroes of Xenia, Ohio. In Bulletin of the Bureau of Labor, No. 48. 
Negroes of Sandy Spring, Md. In Bulletin of the Department of Labor, No. 32. 
Negroes of Litwalton, Va. In Bulletin of the Department of Labor, No. 37. 
^Negro Landholder of Georgia. In Bulletin of the Department of Labor, No. 35. 
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National convention of Colored men. Syracuse, N. Y., October 4-7, 1864. Boston, 

1864. 62 pp., 8vo. 
National convention of Colored men of America, 1869. Proceedings, Wash., 1869. 42 

pp., 8vo. 

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ple of color, etc. 1835. N. Y., 1835. 24 pp., 8vo. 

Proceedings of the Select Committee of the United States Senate to Investigate the 
Causes of the Removal of the Negroes from the Southern States to the North 
ern States. 3 Parts, 1486 pp. Washington, 1879-1880. 

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ciety. Vol. 6. New Haven, 1900. 
Prospectus of the Coleman Manufacturing Co., of Concord, N. C. 17 pp. Richmond, 


Proceedings of the National Negro Business League, annually, 1900- 06. 
Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, issued annually or 

biennially, in the following states: 

Alabama. Michigan. 

Arkansas. Minnesota. 

California. Mississippi. 

Colorado. Missouri. 

Connecticut. New Jersey. 

District of Columbia. New York. 

Delaware. Ontario (B. C.) 

Florida. Oklahoma. 

Georgia. Ohio. 

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Kentucky. Texas. 

Liberia (Africa). Virginia. 

Bibliography 9 

Louisiana. Washington and Oregon. 

Maryland. West Virginia. 

Official Proceedings of the Biennial Session of the Supreme Lodge of Knights of 

Pythias. 18 reports, 1879-15)05. 
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Progress. Containing the Addresses and Proceedings of the Negro Young Peo 
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Treas. Boston, 1862. 36 pp., 12mo. 

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late Insurrectionary States. ^Ku Klux Conspiracy). 13vol. Washington, 1872. 
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611 pp. New York and London, 1882. 

Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Part 1. The Background 
Section 1 . The Scope of this Study 

In 1898 the Atlanta Conference made a limited study entitled "Some 
Efforts of American Negroes for their Own Social Betterment." The 
present study is a continuation and enlargement of this initial study 
made nearly ten years ago, with certain limitations and changes. The 
question set before us in the present study is: How far is there and 
has there been among Negro Americans a conscious effort at mutual 
aid in earning a living? In answering this question we must first con 
sider just how broad an interpretation we are giving to the phrase, 
"earning a living." In a highly developed economic society like that 
which surrounds us here in America and in other countries under the 
lead of European civilization, the phrase "earning a living" is pretty 
clear, because there are large numbers of persons engaged simply or 
principally in that occupation ; and all persons recognize the efforts 
toward earning a living as a distinct set of efforts in their general life. 
It must be remembered, however, that this situation is, to an extent, 
abnormal; that neither in the undeveloped races nor in the fully devel 
oped Race, when it comes, will earning a living as such, occupy the 
large space that it does today in human endeavor. Among the semi-civ 
ilized races the work of getting the material things necessary for life is 
looked upon as incidental to a great many other larger and, in their 
opinion, better things, such as hunting, resting, eating and perhaps 
carousing. So, too, in an ideal community, we would expect that the 
purely economic efforts to supply human beings at least with the 
necessities of life would occupy a comparatively small part of the com 
munity for short spaces of time. 

All this is trite, but we must not forget it, as we are apt to do, when 
we come to study a group like of the Negro American, which has not 
reached the economic development of the surrounding nation, and 
which perhaps never will surrender itself entirely to the ideals of the 
surrounding group. We must not expect, for instance, to find a sepa 
rately developed economic life among the Negroes except as they 
became under compulsion a part of the economic life of the nation 
before emancipation ; and except as they have become since the eman 
cipation, a part of the great working force. So far as their own inner 
economic efforts are concerned we must expect in looking over their 
history to find great strivings in religious development, in political life 
and in efforts at education. And so completely do these cultural 
aspects of their group efforts overshadow the economic efforts that at 

Scope of the Study 11 

first a student is tempted to think that there has been no inner economic 
co-operation, or at least that it has only come to the fore in the last two 
or three decades. But this is not so. While to be sure the religious 
motive was uppermost during the time of slavery, for instance, so far 
as group action among the Negroes were concerned, even then it had 
an economic tinge, and more so since slavery, has Negro religion had 
its economic side; so, too, the political striving after the war was a 
matter even more largely of economic welfare than it was of political 
preferment so far as the great mass of the race was concerned. And 
then and now the strife for education is, if not primarily, certainly to a 
very large extent an effort at earning a living in some manner which 
will satisfy the higher cravings of the rising classes of Negroes. When, 
therefore, we take up under the head of economic co-operation such 
institutions as the church, such movements as the Exodus of 1879 and 
the matter of schools, etc., it is from the economic side that we are 
studying these things, and because this economic side was really of 
very great importance and significance. 

Then again we are studying the conscious effort in economic lines 
not, primarily, so far as individual effort is concerned, but so far as 
these efforts are combined in some sort of effort for mutual aid, that is: 
it is a matter of group co-operation that we have before us. Now this 
brings certain difficulties because a race in the state of development in 
which the Negro American is today must of necessity depend tremend 
ously upon the individual leader. He is in the period of special indi 
vidual development, and while the group development is going on rap 
idly, yet it is the individual as yet who stands forth. Consequently 
very often we must touch upon individual effort and touch upon things 
which strictly speaking are not co-operative, in the narrow sense, and 
yet in the present state of Negro development they have a significance 
which is co-operative, because the leader has been called forth by a 
group movement and not simply for his own aggrandizement. In other 
words, the kind of co-operation which we are going to find among the 
Negro Americans is not always democratic co-operation; very often the 
group organization is aristocratic and even monarchic, and yet it is co 
operation, and the autocracy holds its leadership by the vote of the 
mass, and even the monarch does the same, as in the case of the small 
Baptist church. 

Finally a study like this must throw great light upon the develop 
ment of all social classes. We are apt to say that in Economics and in 
the Social Sciences we cannot segregate the class and make the "crucial 
test," as we can in certain physical experiments. This is true in a great 
many cases, but it is not universally true, as witness the present in 
stance, where we have a segregation, and where we can study a class 
by itself. Moreover the analogy goes still further: The rise of a lower 
social class in any community is in no wise different from the develop 
ment of a race; in fact, we realize in studying races, and particularly 
primitive races as we have them today in contact with more highly de 
veloped races, that what we have going on around us every day in civ- 

12 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

ilized society is the same thing in microcosm which the world has seen 
going on from the beginning: that whereas in the world we have sepa 
rate large groups in varying degrees of civilization and development, 
and they gradually rise and fall and sometimes even change their rela 
tive positions, so, too, in any separate group or nation, we have smaller 
groups with differing developments, and these classes into which the 
group is divided, are coming forward or retrograding in the same way, 
and with many of the same phenomena. Therefore, a study of the 
Negro American in the United States today in his economic aspect, as 
well as in other aspects, throws peculiar light upon the problems of all 
social classes in a great modern nation. 

Section 2. Africa 

It used to be assumed in studying the Negro American that in any 
development we might safely begin with zero so far as Africa is con 
cerned ; the later studies are more and more convincing us that this 
former attitude has been wrong, and that always in explaining the de 
velopment in America of the Negro we must look back upon a consid 
erable past development in Africa. We have, therefore, first to ask 
ourselves in this study, How far are there traces in Africa of economic 
life and economic co-operation among Negroes? 

Ratzel thoughtfully says: "Even in earlier days a deeper thinker 
might not have agreed with our great, but in this respect short-sighted 
historical philosophers, who held that Africa was only in the ante 
chamber of universal history. The land which bore Egypt and Car 
thage will always be of importance in the world s history ; and even the 
transplantation without their will of millions of Africans to America 
remains an event having most important consequences. But since 
Africa, both politically and economically, has been brought nearer to 
us, the above mentioned idea has had altogether to give way. That 
continent, the greatest portion of which longest remained a terra incog 
nita, has suddenly been called on to play a great part in the history of 
the expansion of the European races. In our days Africa has become 
the scene of a great movement, which must fix its destiny in history 
for thousands of years. While a century ago the great political and 
trading powers were still merely hanging on like leeches to its out 
skirts, today the spheres of interest," domains of power of which the 
extent is not yet known even to their owner, are meeting in the far 
interior of the continent. Herewith for the first time Europeans are 
coming into very close connections with the most vigorous shoot of the 
dark branches of nations, on the soil most appropriate to it, but to them 
in the first place by no means favorable. Now it will be decided 
whether much or little of these, the oldest of all now living stocks, will 
pass into mankind of the remoter future. And this is one of the 
greatest problems of the history of the world, which must be the history 
of mankind." 

Not only is there this new attitude toward the meaning of Africa as a 
whole, but we are also revising our ideas as to the exact status of Africa 

Africa 13 

in its development toward civilization. We are beginning to see that 
the Africans, notwithstanding the fact that they have not reached 
European culture, nevertheless have made great advances. In 1885 Dr. 
Wilhelm Schneider summed up the cultural accomplishments of the 
Negro by bringing together the testimonies of African travellers up to 
that time. If we take from that excellent summing up the condition 
of the African in economic organization we shall have a fairly trust 
worthy picture. Schneider first takes up the matter of agriculture, and 
says that the Negro pursues agriculture together with cattle raising 
and dairying. Sheep, goats and chickens are domestic animals all over 
Africa, and cows are raised in regions where grass grows. Von Fran- 
zius considers Africa the home of the house cattle and the Negro as the 
original tamer. 

Northeastern Africa especially is noted for agriculture, cattle raising 
and fruit culture. In the eastern Soudan and among the great Bantu 
tribes extending from the Soudan down toward the south, cattle are 
evidences of wealth, one tribe, for instance, having so many oxen that 
each village had ten or twelve thousand head. Lenz (1884), Bouet-Wil- 
laumez (1848), Hecquard (1854), Bosnian (1805), and Baker (1868), all 
bear witness to this, and Schweinfurth (1878), tells us of great cattle 
parks with 2,000-3,000 head, and of numerous agricultural and cattle 
raising tribes. Von der Decken (1859-61), describes the paradise of the 
dwellers about Kilimanjaro the bananas, fruit, beans, and peas, and 
cattle raising with stall-feed, the fertilizing of the fields, and irriga 
tion. The Negroid Gallas have seven or eight cattle to each inhabi 
tant. Cameron (1877), tells of villages so clean, with huts so artistic, 
that save in book knowledge the people occupied no low plane of civ 
ilization. Livingstone bears witness to the busy cattle raising of the 
Bantus and Kaffirs. 

Hulub (1881), and Chapman (1868), tell of agriculture and fruit raising 
in South Africa. Shu tt (1884), found the tribes in the Southwestern 
basin of the Congo with sheep, swine, goats and cattle. The African 
elephant, however, never was tamed by the natives in later years, 
partly because he is much wilder than the Indian. 

Schneider sums up the Africans accomplishments in handwork and 
industry by quoting Soyaux on Africans, as follows: Whoever denies 
to them independent invention and individual taste in their work, 
either shuts his eyes intentionally before perfectly evident facts, or 
lack of knowledge renders him an incompetent judge." Gabriel de 
Mortillet (1883), declares them the only iron users among primitive 
people, and at any rate they are far beyond others in the development 
of iron industry, and their work bears strong resemblance to that of the 
ancient Egyptians. Some would therefore argue that the Negro learned 
it from other folk, but Andree declares that the Negro developed his own 
"Iron Kingdom," and still others believe that from him it spread to 
Europe and Asia.* 

*Of. Boas, In our day. 

14 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Various tribes have been described : Baker and Felkin tell of smiths 
of wonderful adroitness, goat-skins prepared better than a European 
tailor could do, drinking cups and kegs of remarkable symmetry and 
polished clay floors. Schweinfurth says: "The arrow and spear heads 
are of the finest and most artistic work; their bristle-like barbs and 
points are baffling when one knows how few tools these smiths have." 
Excellent wood-carving is found among the Bongo, Ovambo and 
Makololo. Pottery and basketry and careful hut-building distinguish 
many tribes. The Monbuttu work both iron and copper. "The mas 
terpieces of the Monbuttu smiths are the fine chains worn as ornaments, 
and which in perfection of form and fineness compare well with our 
best steel chains. 1 Such chains are hardened by hammering. Barth 
found copper exported from central Africa in competition with Euro 
pean copper at Kano. 

Nor is the iron industry confined to the Soudan. About the great 
lakes and other parts of central Africa it is widely distributed. Thorn 
ton says: "This iron industry proves that the East Africans stand by 
no means on so low a plane of culture as many travellers would have 
us think. It is unnecessary to be reminded that a people who without 
instruction and with the rudest tools do such skilled work, could do if 
furnished with steel tools. Arrows made east of Lake Nyanza were 
found to be nearly as good as the best Swedish iron in Birmingham. 
From Egypt to the cape Livingstone assures us that the mortar and 
pestle, the long handled axe, the goat skin bellows, etc., have the same 
form, size, etc., pointing to a migration south westward. Holub (1879), 
on the Zambesi found fine workers in iron and bronze (copper and tin). 
The Bantu huts contain spoons, wooden dishes, milk pails, calibashes, 
handmills and axes. Kaffirs and Zulus, in the extreme south, are good 
smiths and the latter melt copper and tin together and draw wire from 
it, according to Kranz (1880). West of the Great Lakes, Stanley (1878), 
found wonderful examples of smith work: figures worked out of brass 
and much work in copper. Cameron (1878), saw vases made near Lake 
Tanganyika which reminded him of the amphorae in the Villa of 
Diomedes, Pompeii. Horn (1882), praises tribes here for iron and cop 
per work. Livingstone (1871), passed thirty smelting houses in one 
journey and Cameron came across bellows with valves, and tribes who 
used knives in eating. He found tribes which no Europeans had ever 
visited, who made ingots of copper in the form of St. Andrew s cross, 
which circulated even to the coast. In the southern Con go basin iron 
and copper are worked ; also wood and ivory carving and pottery are 
pursued. In equatorial west Africa, Lenz and Du Chaillu (1861), found 
the iron workers with charcoal, and also carvers of bone and ivory. 
Near Cape Lopez, Hiibbe-Schleiden found tribes making ivory needles 
inlaid with ebony, while the arms and dishes of the Osaka are found 
among many tribes even as far as the Atlantic ocean. Wilson (1856), 
found natives in West Africa who could repair American watches. 

The Ashanti are renowned weavers and dyers, smiths and founders. 
Gold coast Negroes make gold rings and chains, forming the metal into 

Africa 15 

all kinds of forms. Soyauxsays: "The works in relief which natives of 
Lower Guinea carve with their own knives out of ivory and hippopota 
mus teeth, are really entitled to he called works of art, and many wooden 
figures of fetiches in the Ethnographical Museum of Berlin show some 
understanding of the proportions of the human body." Great Bassam 
is called by Hecquard the "Fatherland of Smiths." The Mandingo in 
the Northwest are remarkable workers in iron, silver and gold, we are 
told by Mungo Park (1800), while there is a mass of testimony as to the 
work in the northwest of Africa in gold, tin, weaving and dyeing. 
Caille" found the Negroes in Bambana manufacturing gunpowder 
(1824-8), and the Haussa make soap; so, too, Negroes in Uganda and 
other parts have made guns after seeing European models. 

On the whole, as Herman Soyaux says: in art and industry the 
accomplishment of the African Negro is in many respects far beyond 
expectation and at least shows what they might do in more favorable 
surroundings; and Lenz adds: "Our sharpest European merchants, 
even Jews and Armenians, can learn much from the cunning of the 
Negro in trade."* 

Coming down to later writers, we find Ratzel testifying that: 
Among all the great groups of the " natural" races, the Negroes are the best 
and keenest tillers of the ground. A minority despise agriculture and breed 
cattle; many combine both occupations. Among the genuine tillersj the 
whole life of the family is taken up in agriculture ; and hence the months are 
by preference called after the operations which they demand. Constant clear 
ings change forests to fields, and the ground is manured with the ashes of the 
burnt thicket. In the middle of the fields rise the light watch-towers, from which 
a watchman scares grain-eating birds and other thieves. An African cultivated 
landscape is incomplete without barns. The rapidity with which, when 
newly imported, the most various forms of cultivation spread in Africa says 
much for the attention which is devoted to this branch of economy. Indus 
tries, again, which may be called agricultural, like the preparation of meal 
from millet and other crops, also from cassava, the fabrication of fermented 
drinks from grain, or the manufacture of cotton, are widely known and sedu 
lously fostered, t 

Biicher says : 

That travellers have often described the deep impression made upon them 
when, on coming out of the dreary primeval forest, they happened suddenly 
upon the well-tended fields of the natives. In the more thickly populated 
parts of Africa these fields often stretch for many a mile, and the assiduous 
care of the Negro women shines in all the brighter light when we consider the 
insecurity of life, the constant feuds and pillages, in which no one knows 
whether he will in the end be able to harvest what he has sown. Livingstone 
gives somewhere a graphic description of the devastations wrought by slave 
hunts; the people are lying about slain, the dwellings were demolished; in 
the fields, however, the grain Avas ripening and there was none to harvest it. } 

The economic organization thus indicated is moreover arranged for 
purposes of trade. Biicher says : 

* Schneider: Oulturfaehigkeit des Negers. 

{-Ratzel, II., 380-881. J Buecher (Wlckett), p. 47. 

16 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Travellers have of ten observed this tribal or local development of industrial 
technique. "The native villages," relates a Belgian observer of the lower 
Congo, "are often situated in groups. Their activities are based upon reci- 
procality, and they are to a certain extent the complements of one another. 
Each group has its more or less strongly denned specialty. One carries on 
fishing, another produces palm wine; a third devotes itself to trade and is 
broker for the others, supplying the community with all products from out 
side ; another has reserved to itself work in iron and copper, making weapons 
for war and hunting, various utensils, etc. None may, however, pass beyond 
the sphere of its own specialty without exposing itself to the risk of being 
universally proscribed." From the Boango Coast, Bastian tells of a great 
number of similar centres for special products of domestic industry. Loango 
excels in mats and fishing baskets, while the carving of elephants tusks is 
specially followed in Chilungo. The so-called "Mafooka" hats with raised 
patterns are drawn chiefly from the bordering country of Kakongo and May- 
yumbe. In Bakunya are made potter s wares, which are in great demand, 
in Basanza excellent swords, in Basundi especially beautiful ornamented cop 
per rings, and the Zaire clever wood and tablet carvings, in Loango orna 
mented clothes and intricately designed mats, in Mayumbe clothing of finely 
woven mat-work, in Kakongo embroidered hats and also burnt clay pitchers, 
and among the Bayakas and Mantetjes stuffs of woven grass.* 

A recent native African writer thus describes the trade organiza 
tion of Ashanti: 

The king of Ashanti knew mostof these merchant princes and His Majesty, 
at stated times in the commercial year, sent some of his head tradesmen with 
gold dust, ivory and other products to the coast to his merchant friends in ex 
change for Manchester goods and other articles of European manufacture. In 
one visit the caravan cleared off several hundred bales of cotton goods which 
found their way into the utmost parts of Soudan. 

It was a part of the state system of Ashanti to encourage trade. The king 
once in every forty days, at the Adai custom, distributed among a number of 
chiefs various sums of gold dust with a charge to turn the same to good 
account. These chiefs then sent down to the coast caravans of tradesmen, 
some of whom would be their slaves, sometimes some two to three hundred 
strong, to barter ivory for European goods, or buy such goods with gold dust, 
which the king obtained from the royal alluvial workings. Down to 1873 a 
constant stream of Ashanti traders might be seen daily wending their way 
to the coast and back again, yielding more certain wealth and prosperity to 
the merchants of the Gold Coast and Great Britain than may be expected for 
sometime yet to come from the mining industry and railway development put 
together. The trade chiefs would, in due time, render a faithful account to 
the king s stewards, being allowed to retain a fair portion of the profit. In the 
king s household, too, he would have special men who directly traded for him. 
Important chiefs carried on the same system of trading with the coast as did 
the king. Thus every member of the state from the king downwards, took 
an active interest in the promotion of trade and in the keeping open of trade 
routes into the interior. 

Nor was the Fanti petty trader left in the lurch; for, while the merchant 
princes drove magnificent trade with the caravans from Ashanti, the native 
petty trader hawked his goods to great advantage in the intermediate towns 
and villages, his customers being private speculators from the interior. 

* Buecher s Industrial Evolution (Wickett), pp. 57-H. 

Africa 17 

Often the men in the coast towns acted as middlemen between men of the 
interior tribes coming down to trade with the merchant houses, and gained an 
honest means of livelihood in that way. 

Some of the chiefs in the intermediate districts would sometimes prove 
obstreperous to the caravans coming down, which became a grievance to His 
Majesty, the king of Ashanti, whose ruffled temper would often be smoothed 
down by diplomatic messages and an exchange of presents. Thus all went 
merrily and the country prospered until the dawn of that evil day when its 
protectors, instead of letting well enough alone, began to meddle with un 
scientific hands in the working of its state system.* 

Batzel describes further the market places: 

From the Fish river to Kuka, and from Lagos to Zanzibar, the market is the 
centre of all the more stirring life in Negro communities, and attempts to 
train him to culture have made their most effectual start from this tendency. 
Trade is a great implement of civilization for Africa; and this is as true of the 
furthest interior whither Europeans or Africans seldom penetrate, as of the 
places on the coast. In the larger localities, like Ujiji and Nyangwe, perma 
nent markets of more than local importance are found. Everything can be 
bought and sold here, from the commonest earthenware pots to the prettiest 
girls from Usukuma. Hither flock from 1,000 to 3,000 natives of both sexes and 
various ages. How like is the market traffic, with all its uproar and sound of 
human voices, to one of our own markets! There is the same rivalry in 
praising the goods, the violent, brisk movements, the expressive gesture, the 
inquiring, searching glance, the changing looks of depreciation or triumph, of 
apprehension, delight, approbation. So says Stanley. Trade customs are not 
everywhere alike. If when negotiating with the Bangalas of Angola you do 
not quickly give them what they want, they go away and do not come back. 
Then perhaps they try to get possession of the coveted object by means of 
theft. It is otherwise with the Songos and Kiokos, who let you deal with them 
in the usual way. To buy even some small article you must go to the market; 
people avoid trading anywhere else. If a man says to another: "Sell me this 
hen," or " that fruit," the answer as a rule will be " Come to the market place. 
The crowd gives confidence to individuals, and the inviolability of the visitor 
to the market, and of the market itself, looks like an idea of justice consecra 
ted by long practice. Does not this remind us of the old Germanic " market 

He adds, with regard to roads: 

The permanent caravan roads call for special attention. They are of the 
greatest importance to the culture of Africa at large, since they have long 
formed the channels through which everj r stimulus to culture found its way 
from foreign countries, into the interior. The most important of all come 
in from the east, since they lead directly into the heart of the Negro countries. 
The south and west, too, are less favored in this respect; only the Portuguese 
road to Cazembe s country had a certain importance here. The northern roads 
throughout the desert to the Soudan, however, do not lead directly to the Ne 
groes, but at first into tke mixed states of the Canooris, Fulbes and Arabs, 
whose intercourse with the Negroes to the south unhappily results, as in the 
case of the old Egyptians, in slavery. 

In the east, however, not foreigners but the Negroes themselves have been 
active in the caravan trade. Here is the true seat of the trade in Negroes ; 

* Hay ford, pp. t5-97. i Ratzel, p. 370. 

18 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

here especially the porter system is organized. It was formerly far easier to 
reach Uganda or Ujiji from Bagamoyo than Stanley Pool from the mouth of 
the Congo. The Wany amwesi, those talented, keen traders and colonists, have 
made their-roads to the coast from time immemorial. When one was closed 
by war or a blood feud, they opened up another; but the caravans proper- 
called Safari in Kiswaheli, Lugendo in Kinyamwesi for long consisted only 
of hired porters from the coast. Burton states that it was only shortly before 
this time that the inhabitants of the coast began to go on this business.* 

As to money Ratzel says : 

Where [African] trade with Arabs or Europeans begins, beads are almost 
indispensable in any trade transactions. The quality in demand is not always 
the same, but is in a certain degree governed by the fashion. Even in the 
sixteenth century beads had a currency value among the inhabitants of the 
Angola coast, and the old Venetian beads which are found, quite worn down, 
in graves, point to the still greater antiquity of this tendency. But excessive 
importation has everywhere caused a rapid fall in value. Glass beads depre 
ciate more and more every year, and now serve only the object of feminine 
vanity; it is long, says Schweinfurth, since they were hoarded as treasures 
and buried like precious stones. The preference for cowries shows more per 
sistence. These have spread, especially from east Africa, as money ; but even 
in the sixteenth century they were in use on the west coast. They were how 
ever given up, as too heavy, in places where they no longer had a high value. 
Cowries are also used as dice. In Nyangwe, besides the cowries, slaves and 
goats were generally current in Cameron s time. 

On the upper Nile copper and brass have commonly taken their place, and 
in the form of rings have a money value throughout Equatorial Africa. Be 
sides these iron axes and rings are in circulation, also pieces of iron shaped 
like horse-shoes or hoes. 

On Lake Bemba three iron hoes were the fare asked of Livingstone for put 
ting ten persons across. Cotton cloth in uselessly narrow strips passes as 
money in the Soudan to beyond Adamwa, while in Bornu money even takes 
the form of " tobes " or shirts, never intended for wearing. Cattle are currency 
among all pastoral races; but, with the exception of Abyssinia and many 
parts of the Sahara and the Soudan, where sums are reckoned in Maria Theresa 
dollars, coins have established themselves only in the most progressive and 
prosperous districts, like Basutoland or the equatorial east coast; now, too, on 
the Niger.f 

Section 3. The West Indies 

From such an environment as we have very imperfectly Indicated, 
the Negroes were suddenly snatched and brought first to the West In 
dies and afterward to the American continent. In this change a great 
deal of the past organization was destroyed. Still the transition 
could not utterly break them from the past, and several institutions 
remained. The first was, of course, the religious institution which 
showed itself in the beginning of the Negro church. This was especially 
manifest in the organization called Obe or Obeah worship; considera 
ble collections were made of money and kind by the Obi or Voodoo 
priests; still the organization was scarcely one which one could call 

* Ratzel, II :377. -j- Ratzel, II :879. 

The West Indies 19 

A second survival was that of political organization. This could be 
seen, of course, in such revolts as that of the Maroons in Jamaica, who 
set up apolitical organization and maintained themselves for years; 
but it can be seen more instructively in the Negro governors of New 
England. Most persons have looked upon this survival of political 
organization among the Negroes as simply an imitation of the whites, 
and a rather ludicrous one; but certain ones have noticed that it was 
not wholly an imitation and we find moreover that the organization 
had some political power. Senator Platt, for instance, in his researches 
tells us that the Negro governor and other officials in Connecticut had 
no legal power, and yet exercised considerable control over the Negroes 
throughout the state. The black governor directed the affairs of his 
people and his directions were obeyed; the black justices tried cases 
both civil and criminal, and rendered judgments and executed punish 
ments. The idea of the Negroes doing this originated with the Negroes 
themselves, it seems, for Platt says: "They conceived the project of 
imitating the whites by establishing a subordinate jurisdiction and 
jurisprudence of their own. The old Negroes aided in the plan but not 
without the approbation of their masters, who foresaw that a sort of 
police managed wholly by the slaves would be more effectual in keep 
ing them within the bounds of morality than if the same authority 
was exercised by whites." He goes on to say that the judicial depart 
ment of this government within a government consisted of the governor 
who sometimes sat at judgment in cases of appeal; the other magis 
trates and judges tried all charges brought against any Negro by an 
other or by a white person; masters complained to the governor and 
the magistrates of the delinquencies of their slaves, who were tried, con 
demned and punished at the discretion of the court. The punishment 
was sometimes quite severe, and what made it the more effectual was 
that it was the judgment of their peers, people of their own rank and 
color. Thus we find surviving in New England for a long time a system 
of government which must have gone far enough to have some control 
over the slave as a workman, and was to some extent economic in its 
effects. * 

It is, however, in the West Indies that we find the most direct 
survival of African economic customs. In Jamaica, for instance, the 
practice prevailed of giving the Negroes land to cultivate and expecting 
them to maintain themselves from the product of these lands, giving 
most of their labor, of course, to the master. The Negroes acquired, 
therefore, some little property of their own and on holidays and Sundays 
and on one week day each fortnight they went to market. They took 
to market not only the things raised on their part of ground, but also 
some of them made a few coarse manufactures, such as mats, bark 
ropes, wicket chairs and baskets, earthen jars, pans, etc. Of course 
these things were relics of their African trade; they could not be as 
well made because the Negroes did not have more than about sixteen 

Compare Papers of the New Haven Colony Hist. Soc., Vol. VI. 

20 Economic Cooperation Among Negro Americans 

hours a week to cultivate their gardens and to do work of this sort. 

Edwards says: "Sunday is their market day and it is wonderful 
what numbers are then seen hastening from all parts of the country 
toward the towns and shipping places ladened with fruits and vegeta 
bles, pigs, goats and poultry, their* own property. In Jamaica it is 
supposed that upwards of ten thousand assemble every Sunday morn 
ing in the market of Kingston, where they barter their provisions, etc.* 
for Salted beef and pork or fine linens for their wives and children. 1 * 
We have here, then, a peculiar survival of African economic customs 
in the new world, and we shall find that in the continental colonies 
there were traces of the same thing. 

Section 4. The Colonies 

Tn the continental colonies the remembrance of the African organiza 
tion and society was more and more lost sight of. The -Negroes had 
become Americans, speaking another language and forgetting much of 
the past. The plot of ground which they cultivated for themselves still 
remained in most cases, but it was supplemented by regular rations 
from the store-house of the master. Tendencies toward political au 
tonomy still showed themselves in the insurrections that took place 
from time to time, but these were sternly suppressed and only in a few 
cases did they gain a wide following. Religious institutions remained 
and the church gained for itself a wide and ever wider following, but 
its economic activities were still very much curtailed. 

Beneficial and burial societies began to appear, however, even in the 
time of slavery. We are told, for instance: 

The history of the Negro insurance extends far beyond the days of his free 
dom in this country. While there are no recorded data available, yet from 
reliable sources we learn that more than seventy-five years ago there existed 
in every city of any size in Virginia organizations of Negroes having as their 
object the caring for the sick and the burying of the dead. In but few in 
stances did the society exist openly, as the laws of the time concerning Negroes 
were such as to make it impossible for this to be done without serious conse 
quences to the participants. History shows that no matter how the oppressed 
and enslaved may have been watched and hedged in, there was always found 
a way by which they could get together, and this has been no less true of the 
Negro in his attempt to combine for mutual protection from the results of 
sickness and death. Although it was unlawful for Negroes to assemble with 
out the presence of a white man, and so unlawful to allow a congregation 
of slaves on a plantation without the consent of the master, these organiza 
tions existed and held these meetings on the " lots" of some of the law-makers 
themselves. The general plan seems to have been to select some one who 
could "read and write" and make him the secretary. The meeting place 
having been selected, the members would come by "ones and twos," make 
their payments to the secretary, and quietly withdraw. The book of the sec 
retary was often kept covered up on the bed. In many of the societies each 
member was known by number and in paying simply announced his number. 
The president of such a society was usually a privileged slave who had the 

Bryan Edwards: West Indies. 

The Colonies 21 

confidence of his or her master and could go and come at will. Thus a form of 
communication could be kept up between all members. In event of death of 
a member provision was made for decent burial, and all the members as far as 
possible obtained permits to attend the funeral. Here and again their plan of 
getting together was brought into play. In Richmond they would go to the 
church by ones and twos and there sit as near together as convenient. At the 
close of the service a line of march would be formed when sufficiently far 
from the church to make it safe to do. It is reported that the members were 
faithful to each other and that every obligation was faithfully carried out. 
This was the first form of insurance known to the Negro from which his 
family received a benefit.* 

As soon as slaves began to be emancipated such beneficial societies 
began to be openly formed. One of the earliest of these became, event 
ually, the great African Methodist Church, and its articles of associa 
tion, made April 12, 1787, are of especial interest: 

Preamble of the Free African Society 

PHILADELPHIA, 12th, 4th mo., 1787. 

Whereas, Absalom Jones and Richard Allen, two men of the African race, 
who, for their religious life and conversation have obtained a good report 
among men, these persons, from a love to the people of their complexion 
whom they beheld with sorrow, because of their irreligious and uncivilized 
state, often communed together upon this painful and important subject in 
order to form some kind of religious society, but there being too few to be 
found under like concern, and those who were, differed in their religious sen 
timents; with these circumstances they labored for some time, till it was pro 
posed, after a serious communication of sentiments, that a society should be 
formed, without regard to religious tenets, provided the persons lived an 
orderly and sober life, in order to support one another in sickness, and for the 
benefit of their widows and fatherless children. 

The following persons were the charter members: Absalom Jones, Richard 
Allen, Samuel Boston, Joseph Johnson, Cato Freeman, Cyesar Cranchell, James 
Potter and William White. 


17th, 5th mo., 1787. 

We, the free Africans and their descendants of the City of Philadelphia, in 
the state of Pennsylvania, or elsewhere, do unanimously agree, for the benefit 
of each other, to advance one shilling in Pennsylvania silver currency, a 
month ; and after one year s subscription from the date thereof, then to hand 
forth to the needy of this society, if any should require, the sum of three shill 
ings and nine pence per week of the said money; provided, this necessity is 
not brought on them by their own imprudence. 

And it is further agreed, that no drunkard nor disorderly person be admit 
ted as a member, and if any should prove disorderly after having been re 
ceived, the said disorderly person shall be disjoined from us if there is not an 
amendment, by being informed by two of the members, without having any 
of his subscription returned. 

And if any one should neglect paying his subscription for three mouths, 
and after having been informed of the same by two of the members, and no 
sufficient reason appearing for such neglect, if he do not pay the whole the 

* Hampton Negro Conference, No. 8, pp. 43-14, 

22 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

next ensuing meeting, he shall be disjoined from us by being informed by two 
of the members as an offender, without having any of his subscription money 

Also, if any person neglect meeting every month, for every omission he 
shall have to pay three pence, except in case of sickness or any other com 
plaint that should require the assistance of the society, then and in such case, 
he shall be exempt from the fines and subscription during said sickness. 

Also, we apprehend it to be just and reasonable, that the surviving widow 
of the deceased member should enjoy the benefit of this society so long as she 
remains his widow, complying with the rules thereof, excepting the subscrip 

And we apprehend it to be necessary that the children of our deceased mem 
bers l)e under the care of the society, so far as to pay for the education of their 
children, if they can not attend the free school; also to put them out as ap 
prentices to suitable trades and places, if required. 

Also, that no member shall convene the society together; but it shall be the 
sole business of the committee, and that only on special occasions, and to dis 
pose of the money in hand to the best advantage for the use of the society, 
after they are granted the liberty at a monthly meeting, and to transact all 
other business whatsoever, except that of clerk and treasurer. 

And we unanimously agree to choose Joseph Clarke to be our clerk and 
treasurer ; and whenever another should succeed him, it is always understood, 
that one of the people called Quakers, belonging to one of the three monthly 
meetings in Philadelphia, is to be chosen to act as clerk and treasurer of this 
useful institution. 

The following persons met, viz: Absalom Jones, Richard Allen, Samuel 
Boston, Joseph Johnson, Cato Freeman, Caesar Cranchell and James Potter, 
and also William White, whose early assistance and useful remarks were 
found truly profitable. This evening the articles \vere read, and after some 
beneficial remarks were made, they were agreed unto. * 

In 1790 this society had 42 9.s. Id. on deposit in the Bank of North 

At about this same time secret societies began to arise. The origin of 
the Negro Masons was as follows: t 

On March 6, 1775, an army lodge attached to one of the regiments 
stationed under General Gage in or near Boston, Mass., initiated Prince 
Hall and fourteen other colored men into the mysteries of Freemasonry. 
From this beginning, with small additions from foreign countries, 
sprang the Masonry among the Negroes in America. These fifteen 
brethren were, according to a custom of the day, authorized to assem 
ble as a lodge, "walk on St. John s Day" and bury their dead "in man 
ner and form;" but they did no "work" made no Masons until after 
they had been regularly warranted. They applied to the Grand Lodge 
of England for a warrant March 2, 1784. It was issued to them as 
^ African Lodge, No. 459, 11 with Prince Hall as Master, September 29. 
1784, but owing to various vexatious misadventures was not received 
until April 29. 1787. The lodge was organized under the warrant May 
0, 1787. It remained upon the English registry occasionally con 
tributing to the. Grand Charity Fund until, upon the amalgamation of 

Arnetfs Budget, 1904, pp. 93-94. f Upton: Negro Masonry. 

Negro Masons 23 

the rival Grand Lodges of the "Moderns" and the "Ancients" into the 
present United Grand Lodge of England, in 1813, it and the other Eng 
lish lodges in the United States were erased. 

Prince Hall, a man of exceptional ability, served in the Ameri 
can Army during the Revolutionary War and, until his death, in 1807, 
was exceedingly zealous in the cause of Masonry. js early as in 
1792 he was styled "Grand Master," and from that date at least he ex 
ercised the functions of a Grand Master or Provincial Grand Master. 

In 1797 he issued a license to thirteen black men who had been made 
Masons in England and Ireland to "assemble and work" as a lodge in 
Philadelphia. Another lodge was organized by his authority in Provi 
dence, Rhode Island, for the accommodation of members of African 
Lodge who resided in that vicinity. This was in accordance with an 
old usage, the validity of which had then but recently been confirmed 
by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. In 1808 these three lodges joined in 
forming the "African Grand Lodge" of Boston, subsequently styled the 
"Prince Hall Lodge of Massachusetts." Masonry gradually spread 
over the land. 

The second colored Grand Lodge, called the "First Independent Afri 
can Grand Lodge of North America in and for the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania," was organized in 1815; and the third was the "Hiram 
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania." These three Grand bodies fully recog 
nized each other in 1847 by joining in forming a National Grand Lodge, 
and practically all the Negro lodges in the United States are descended 
from one or the other of these. 

The original warrant of Prince Hall Lodge reads: 

To all and every our right Worshipful and loving Brethren, we, Thomas 
Howard, Earl of Effingham, Lord Howard, etc., etc., acting Grand Master under 
the authority of His Royal Highness, Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland, 
etc., etc., Grand Master of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free 
and Accepted Masons, send greeting ; 

Know Ye, That we, at the humble petition of our right trusty and well be 
loved Brethren, Prince Hall, Boston Smith, Thomas Sanderson and several 
other Brethren residing in Boston, New England, in North America, do here 
by constitute the said Brethren into a regular Lodge of Free and Accepted 
Masons, under the title or denomination of the African Lodge, to be opened in 
Boston aforesaid, and do further, at their said petition, hereby appoint the 
said Prince Hall to be Master, Boston Smith, Senior Warden, and Thomas-: 
Sanderson, Junior Warden, for the opening of the said Lodge and for such 
further time only as shall be thought proper by the brethren thereof, it being 
our will that this our appointment of the above officers shall in no wise affect 
any future election of officers of the Lodge, but that such election shall be 
regulated agreeable to such by-laws of said Lodge as shall be consistent with 
the general laws of the society, contained in the Book of Constitutions ; and we 
hereby will and require you, the said Prince Hall, to take especial care that 
all and every one of the said Brethren are, or have been regularly made Ma 
sons, and that they do observe, perform and keep all the rules and orders con 
tained in the Book of Constitutions; and further, that you do, from time to 
time, cause to be entered in a book kept for the purpose, an account of your 
proceedings in the Lodge, together with all such rules, orders and regulations, 

24 Economic Co=operation Among Negro Americans 

as shall be made for the good government of the same; that in no wise you 
omit once in every year to send us, or our successors, Grand Master, or to Ro 
land Holt, Esq., our Deputy Grand Masfer, for the time being, an account in 
writing of your said proceedings, and copies of all such rules, orders and regu 
lations as shall be made as aforesaid, together with a list of the members of 
the Lodge, anfl such a sum of money as may suit the circumstances of the 
Lodge and reasonably be expected towards the Grand Charity. Moreover, we 
hereby will and require you, the said Prince Hall, as soon as conveniently 
may be, to send an account in writing of what may be done by virtue of these 

Given at London, under our hand and seal of Masonry, this 29th day of Sep 
tember, A. L. 5784, A. D. 1784. 

By the Grand Master s Command. 

Witness : WM. WHITE, G. S. R. HOLT, D. G. M. 

Part 2. The Development of Cooperation 

Section 5. An Historical Sketch 

A sketch of co-operation among the Negro Americans begins natur 
ally with the Negro church. The vast power of the priest in the Afri 
can state was not fully overcome by slavery and transportation ; it still 
remained on the plantation. The Negro priest, therefore, early became 
an important figure and "found his function as the interpreter of the 
supernatural, the comforter of the sorrowing, and the one who expressed 
rudely but picturesquely the longing, disappointment and resentment 
of a stolen people. From such beginnings rose and spread with marvel 
lous rapidity the Negro church in America, the first distinctively Negro 
American social institution. It was not at first by any means a Chris 
tian church, but rather an adaptation of those heathen rites which we 
roughly designate by the term Obi worship or Voodooism. Association 
and missionary effort soon gave these rites a veneer of Christianity 
and gradually after two centuries the church became Christian with a 
Calvinistic creed and with many of the old customs still clinging to the 
services. It is this historic fact, that the Negro church of today bases 
itself on one of the few surviving social institutions of the African 
Fatherland, that accounts for its extraordinary growth and vitality. 
We must remember that in the United States today there is a church 
organization for every sixty Negro families." This institution there 
fore naturally assumed many functions which the other harshly sup 
pressed social organs had to surrender, and especially the church became 
the center of economic activity as well as of amusement, education and 
social intercourse. 

It was in the church, too, or rather the organization that went by the 
name of church, that many of the insurrections among the slaves from 
the sixteenth century down had their origin ; we must find in these in 
surrections a beginning of co-operation which eventually ended in the 
peaceful economic co-operation. A full list of these insurrections it is 
impossible to make, but if we take the larger and more significant ones 

Historical Sketch 25 

they will show us the trend. The chief Negro insurrections are as fol 
lows : 

Revolt of the Maroons, Jamaica. 

Uprising in Danish Islands. 

New York, 1712. 

Cato of Stono, South Carolina, 1734. 

New York, 1741. 

San Domingo, 1791. 

Gabriel, Virginia, 1800. 

Vesey, South Carolina, 1822. 

Nat Turner, Virginia, 1831. 

Both Vesey and Turner were preachers and used the church as a cen 
ter of their plots; Gabriel and Cato may have been preachers, although 
this is not known. 

These insurrections fall into three categories: unorganized outbursts 
of fury, as in the Danish Islands and in early Carolina; military organi 
zations, as in the case of the Maroons; movements of small knots of 
conspirators, as in New York in 1712 and 1741; and carefully planned 
efforts at widespread co-operation for freedom, as in the case of San 
Domingo, and the uprisings under Cato, Gabriel, Vesey and Turner. 
It was these latter that in most cases grew out of the church organiza 

It was the fact that the Negro church thus loaned itself to insurrec 
tion and plot that led to its partial suppression and careful oversight in 
the latter part of the seventeenth and again in the eighteenth and early 
nineteenth centuries. Nevertheless there arose out of the church in 
the latter part of the eighteenth and early in the nineteenth centuries 
the beneficial society, a small and usually clandestine organization for 
burying the dead ; this development usually took place in cities. From 
the beneficial society arose naturally after emancipation the other co 
operative movements: secret societies (which may date back even be 
yond the church in some way, although there is no tangible proof of 
this), and cemeteries which began to be bought and arranged for very 
early in the history of the church. The same sort of movement that 
started the cemeteries brought the hospital in the latter part of the 
nineteenth century, and from the secret societies came the homes and 
orphanages. Out of the beneficial society also developed late in the 
nineteenth century the first attempts at co-operative business, and still 
later the insurance societies, out of which came the banks in the last 
ten years. 

Meantime, however, the spirit of insurrection and revolt had found 
outlet earlier than by this slower development. 

There was early discovered an easier method of attaining freedom 
than by insurrection and that was by flight to the free states. In the 
West Indies this safety valve was wanting and the result was San Do- 
rningo. In America freedom cleared a refuge for slaves as follows: 

Vermont, 1779. 

Massachusetts, 1780. 

26 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Pennsylvania, 1780. 

New Hampshire, 1783. 

Connecticut, 1784. 

Rhode Island, 1784. 

Northwest Territory, 1787. 

New York, 1799. 

New Jersey, 1804. 

Consequently we find that the spirit of revolt which tried to co-oper 
ate by means of insurrection led to widespread organization for the 
rescue of fugitive slaves among Negroes themselves, and developed 
before the war in the North and during and after the war in the South, 
into various co-operative efforts toward economic emancipation and 
land -buying. Gradually these efforts led to co-operative business, 
building and loan associations and trade unions. On the other hand, 
the Underground Railroad led directly to various efforts at migration, 
especially to Canada, and in some cases to Africa. These migra 
tions in our day have led to certain Negro towns and settlements; arid 
finally from the efforts at migration began the various conventions of 
Negroes which have endeavored to organize them into one national 
body, and give them a group consciousness. Let us now notice in de 
tail certain of these steps toward co-operation. We have already spoken 
of insurrections and can now take up the Underground Railroad and 
the co-operative efforts during emancipation, and the various schemes 
of migration. 

Section 6. The Underground Railroad 

From the beginning of the nineteenth century slaves began to escape 
in considerable numbers from the region south of Mason and Dixon s 
line and the Ohio to the North. Even here, however, they were not 
safe from the fugitive slave laws, and soon after 1812 the Negro soldiers 
and sailors discovered a surer refuge in Canada and the tide set thither. 
Gradually between 1830 and 1850 there were signs of definite concerted 
co-operation to assist fugitives which came to be known as the Under 
ground Railroad. The organization is best known from the side of the 
white abolitionists who aided and sheltered the fugitives and furnished 
them means. 

But it must not be forgotten that back of these helpers must have lain 
a more or less conscious co-operation and organization on the part of 
the colored people. In the first place, the running away of slaves was 
too systematic to be accidental; without doubt there was widespread 
knowledge of paths and places and times for going. Constant com 
munication between the land of freedom and the slave states must be 
kept up by persons going and coming, and there can be no doubt but 
that the Negro organization back of the Underground Railroad was 
widespread and very effective. Redpath, writing just before the war, 
says: u ln the Canadian provinces there are thousands of fugitive 
slaves; they are the picked men of the Southern states, many of them 
are intelligent and rich and all of them are deadly enemies of the South ; 

Underground Railroad 27 

five hundred of them at least annually visit the slave states, passing 
from Florida to Harper s Ferry on heroic errands of mercy and deliv 
erance. They have carried the Underground Railroad and the Under 
ground Telegraph into nearly every Southern state. Here obviously is 
a power of great importance for a war of liberation." Siebert says that 
in the South much secret aid was rendered the fugitives by persons of 
their own race, and he gives instances in numbers of border states 
where colored persons were in charge of the runaways. Frederick 
Douglass connection with the Underground Railroad began long before 
he himself left the South. In the North people of the African race 
would be found in most communities, and in many cases they became 
energetic workers. 

It was natural that Negro settlements in the free states should be resorted 
to by fugitive slaves. The colored people of Greenwich, New Jersey, the 
Stewart, settlement of Jackson county, Ohio, the Upper and Lower Camps, 
Brown county, Ohio, and the colored settlement, Hamilton county, Indiana, 
were active. The list of towns and cities in which the Negroes became co- 
workers with white persons in harboring and concealing runaways is a long 
one. Oberlin, Portsmouth and Cincinnati, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Phila 
delphia, Pennsylvania, and Boston, Massachusetts, will suffice as examples. 
Negro settlements in the interior of the free states, as well as along their 
southern frontier, soon carne to form important links in the chain of stations 
leading from the Southern states to Canada.* 

In the list of Underground Railway operators given by Siebert there 
are 128 names of Negroes, and Negroes were on the vigilant commit 
tees of most of the larger towns, including Boston, Syracuse, Spring 
field and Philadelphia. 

The largest number of abduction cases occurred through the activities of 
those well disposed towards fugitives by the attachments of race. There were 
many Negroes, enslaved and free, along the southern boundaries of New Jer 
sey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, whose opportunities were 
numerous for conveying fugitives to free soil with slight risk to themselves. 
These persons sometimes did scarcely more than ferry runaways across 
streams or direct them to the home of friends residing near the line of free 
states. In the vicinity of Martin s Ferry, Ohio, there lived a colored man who 
frequented the Virginia shore for the purpose of persuading slaves to run 
away. He was in the habit of imparting the necessary information and then 
displaying himself in an intoxicated condition, feigned or real, to avoid sus 
picion. At last he was found out, but escaped by betaking himself to Canada. 
In the neighborhood of Portsmouth, Ohio, slaves were conveyed across the 
river by one Poindexter, a barber of the town of Jackson. In Baltimore, 
Maryland, two colored women who engaged in selling vegetables, were effi 
cient in starting fugitives on the way to Philadelphia. At Louisville, Ken 
tucky, Wash Spradley,a shrewd Negro, was instrumental in helping many of 
his enslaved brethren out of bondage. These few instances will suffice to il 
lustrate the secret enterprises conducted by colored persons on both sides of 
the sectional line once dividing the North from the South. 

Another class of colored persons that undertook the work of delivering some 
of their race from cruel uncertainties of slavery may be found among the 

* Siebert, 82, 91. 

28 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

refugees of Canada. Describing the early development of the movement of 
slaves to Canada, Dr. Samuel G. Howe says of these persons : " Some, not con 
tent with personal freedom and happiness, went secretly back to their old 
homes and brought away their wives and children at much peril and cost." 
It has been said that the number of these persons visiting the South annually 
was about five hundred. Mr. D. B. Hodge, of Lloydsville, Ohio, gives the case 
of a Negro that went to Canada by way of New Athens, and in the course of a- 
year returned over the same route, went to Kentucky, and brought away his 
wife and two children, making his pilgrimage northward again after the 
lapse of about two months. Another case, reported by Mr. N. C. Buswell of 
Nefouset, Illinois, is as follows : "A slave, Charlie, belonging to a Missouri 
planter living near Quincy, Illinois, escaped to Canada by way of one of the 
underground routes. Ere long he decided to return and get his wife, but 
found that she had been sold South. When making his second journey east 
ward he brought with him a family of slaves who preferred freedom to remain 
ing as the chattels of his old master. This was the first of a number of such 
trips made by the fugitive, Charlie. Mr. Seth Lin ton, who w r as familiar with 
the work on a line of this road running through Clinton county, Ohio, reports 
that a fugitive that had passed along the route returned after some months, 
saying he had come back to rescue his wife. His absence in the slave state 
continued so long that it was feared he had been captured, but after some 
weeks he reappeared, bringing his wife and her father with him. He told of 
having seen many slaves in the country and said they would be along as soon 
as they could escape."* 

The stations at Mechanicsburg were among the most widely known in 
central and southern Ohio. They received fugitives from at least three regu 
lar routes, and doubtless had "switch connections" with other lines. Passen 
gers were taken northward over one of the three, perhaps, four roads, and as 
one or two of these lay through pro-slavery neighborhoods a brave and expe 
rienced agent was almost indispensable. George W. S. Lucas, a colored man 
of Salem, Columbiana county, Ohio, made frequent trips with the closed car 
riage of Philip Evans between Barnesville, New Philadelphia and Cadiz, and 
two stations, Ash tabula and Painesville, on the shore of Lake Erie. Occa 
sionally Mr. Lucas conducted parties to Cleveland and Sandusky and Toledo, 
but in such cases he went on foot or by stage. His trips were sometimes a 
hundred miles and more in length. George L. Burroughes, a colored man at 
Cairo, Illinois, became an agent for the Underground Road in 1857 while act 
ing as porter of a sleeping car running on the Illinois Central Railroad between 
Cairo and Chicago. At Albany, New York, Stephen Myers, a Negro, was an 
agent of the Underground Road for a wide extent of territory. At Detroit 
there were several agents, among them George DeBaptiste and George Dolar- 

The most celebrated of these abductors were Harriet Tub-man and 
.Josiah Henson, who are said to have been the means of releasing many 
hundreds of slaves from slavery. 

Outside of this general co-operation there was, however, evidence of 
real organization among the Negroes. Hinton says that John Brown 
knew of this secret organization and sought to take advantage of it. 
Gill also testifies to the same organization ; extracts from their writing 
will show their knowledge of this more secret co-operation : 

Siebert, 151. t Siebert, 70. 

Underground Railroad 29 

On leaving Boston, March 8th, he [i. e., John Brown] carried with him $500 in 
gold and assurance of other support. He passed through New York on the 
2d, preferring to go around rather than take the risk of being recognized in 
western Massachusetts. On the 10th of March Frederick Douglass, Henry 
Highland Garnett of New York, Stephen Smith and William Still of Phila 
delphia, [all colored] with John Brown, Jr., met the captain in conference at 
the dwelling of either Smith or Still. Of course the object of these was to find 
out the Underground Railroad routes and stations, to ascertain the persons 
who were actually to be relied upon, places to stop at, means of conveyance, 
and especially to learn of the colored men who could be trusted. The Phila 
delphia conference must have gone over this ground with the two Browns, 
and the experience of those who were the most active of Underground Rail 
road directors in that section, could not but have been useful John 

Brown s purpose in calling and holding the convention at Chatham, Canada 
West, was in harmony with the conception and plans he had evolved. There 
was a large number of colored residents under the British flag. They were 
mainly fugitive slaves, among whom were many bold, even daring men. In 
the section of which Chatham was one of the centers, considerable direction 
had been given to the settlement of these people. There were among them 
(and still are) a good many farmers, mechanics, storekeepers, as well as labor 
ers. It would not be correct to say that no prejudice existed against them, 
but it was not strong enough, as in the land from which they fled, to prevent 
industry and sobriety from having a fair chance, while intelligence, well di 
rected, made its way to civic and business recognition. There were probably 
not less than 75,000 fugitive residents in Canada West at the time of the 
Chatham gathering. Their presence, well-ordered lives and fair degree of 
prosperity, had brought also to live with them as doctors, clergymen, teachers, 
lawyers, printers, surveyors, etc., educated freemen of their own race. Martin 
Delany, a physician, editor, ethnologist and naturalist, was one of them. Mr. 
Holden, a well-trained surveyor and civil engineer, at whose residence in 
Chatham John Brown stayed, the Rev. William Charles Munroe, Osborne 
Perry Anderson and others, were among these helpers. But it was not simply 
the presence of these forces which took John Brown to Chatham. As one may 
naturally understand, looking at conditions then existing, there existed some 
thing of an organization to assist fugitives and for resistance to their masters. 
It was found all along the borders from Syracuse, New York, to Detroit, Michi 
gan. As none but colored men were admitted into direct and active member 
ship with this "League of Freedom," it is quite difficult to trace its workings 
or know how far its ramifications extended. One of the most interesting 
phases of slave life, so far as the whites were enabled to see or impinge upon 
it, was the extent and rapidity of communicatkm among them. Four geo 
graphical lines seem to have been chiefly followed. One was that of the coast 
south of the Potomac, whose almost continuous line of swamps from the vi 
cinity of Norfolk, Ya., to the northern border of Florida afforded a refuge for 
many who could not escape and became " marooned " in their depths, while 
giving facility to the more enduring to work their way out to the North Star 
Land. The great Appalachian range and its abutting mountains were long a 
rugged, lonely, but comparatively safe route to freedom. It was used, too, for 
many years. Doubtless a knowledge of that fact, for John Brown was always 
an active Underground Railroad man, had very much to do, apart from its 
immediate use strategically considered, with the captain s decision to begin 
operations therein. Harriet Tubman, whom John Brown met for the first time 
at St. Catherine s in March or April, 1858, was a constant user of the Appalach- 

30 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

ian route in her efforts to aid escaping slaves. " Moses," as Mrs. Tubman was 
called by her own people, was a most remarkable black woman, unlettered 
and very negrine, but with a great degree of intelligence and perceptive in 
sight, amazing courage and a simple steadfastness of devotion which lifts her 
career into the ranks of heroism. Herself a fugitive slave, she devoted her 
life after her own freedom was won, to the work of aiding others to escape. 
First and last Harriet brought out several thousand slaves. John Brown 
always called her "General," and once introduced her to Wendell Phillips by 
saying, "I bring you one of the best and bravest persons on this continent 
General Tubman, as we call her." William Lambert, who died in Detroit a 
few years since, being very nearly one hundred years old, was another of those 
of the race who devoted themselves to the work for which John Brown hoped 
to strike a culminating blow. Between 1829 and 1862 thirty-three years Wil 
liam is reported to have aided in the escape of 30,000 slaves. He lived in De 
troit, and was one of the foremost representatives of his people in both Michi 
gan and Ontario. Underground Railroad operations culminating chiefly at 
(Cleveland, Sandusky and Detroit, led by broad and denned routes through 
Ohio to the border of Kentucky. Through that state in the heart of the Cum 
berland mountains, northern Georgia, east Tennessee and northern Alabama, 
the limestone caves of the region served a useful purpose. And it is a fact that 
the colored people living in Ohio were often bolder and more determined than 
was the rule elsewhere. The Ohio-Kentucky routes probably served more 
fugitives than others in the North. The valley of the Mississippi was the most 
westerly channel until Kansas opened a bolder way of escape from the South 
west slave section. John Brown knew whatever was to be known of all this 
unrest, and he also must have known of the secret organization which George 
B. Gill mentions in his interesting paper. This organization served a purpose 
of some value to the government in the earlier parts of the Civil War, a fact 
that lies within my own knowledge, and then fell into disuse as the hours 
moved swifter to the one in which the gate-way of the Union swung aside, 
and the pathway of the law opened, to allow the colored American to reach 
emancipation and citizenship. 

Dr. Alexander Milton Ross, in a letter January 21st, 1893, says: * 
Now in reference to the "Liberty League," I was one of their members at 
large; Gerrit Smith and Lewis Tappan were the others. As to the actual 
members I had very little acquaintance. I knew of George J. Reynolds of 
Hamilton (Sandusky, also), George W. Brown and Glover Harrison of this 
city (Toronto). The branch of the League in Upper Canada had no connection 
with the armed and drilled men along the United States border, whose duty 
it was to help the slaves to escape to Canada. Of course I knew many of them 
Liberators, as they were called, from Erie to Sandusky and Cleveland. 

The list of the men who met John Brown in the celebrated Chatham 
convention also shows the large number of co-workers, whom he tried 
to get to help him at Harper s Ferry. The names of the members of 
the Chatham convention were: William Charles Monroe, G. J. Rey 
nolds, J. C. Grant, A. J. Smith, James Monroe Jones, George B. Gill, 
M. F. Bailey, William Lambert, S. Hunton, John J. Jackson, Osborne 
P. Anderson, Alfred Whipper, C. W. Moffett, James M. Bell, W. H. 
Lehman, Alfred M. Ellsworth, John E. Cook, Steward Taylor, James 

Hlnton: John Brown and His Men. 

Underground Railroad 31 

W. Purnell, George Akin, Stephen Dettin, Thomas Hickerson, John 
Cannel, Robinson A lexander, Richard Realf, Thomas F. Gary, Richard 
Richardson. Luke F. Parsons, Thos. M. Kennard, Jeremiah Anderson, 
J. H. Delaney, Robert Van Vauken, Thos. M. Stringer, Charles P. Tidd, 
John A. Thomas, C. Whipple, Alias Aaron D. Stevens, J. D. Shadd, 
Robert Newman, Owen Brown, John Brown, J. H. Harris, Charles 
Smith, Simon Fislin, Isaac Holden, James Smith, John H. Kagi; the 
secretary, Dr. M. R. Delaney, was a corresponding member. The mem 
bers whose names are in italics were colored men. 

In addition to the educational facilities the colored folk of Chatham 
had churches of their own, a newspaper conducted in their interest by 
Mr. I. D. Shadd, an accomplished colored man, and societies for social 
intercourse and improvement, in which their affairs were discussed, 
mutual wants made known and help provided. But there were also 
here and elsewhere, at each center of colored population, meetings and 
discussions of a more earnest character: Conductors of the tk Under- 
ground Railroad, 1 an organization whose influence in aid of the fleeing 
slaves was felt from the lakes and St. Lawrence river to the center of 
the slave populations, were often seen here. 

The League of Gileadites formed by John Brown in Springfield, 
Mass., just after the passing of the Fugitive Slave Law also became 
undoubtedly an effective organization, and was carried on largely by 
the colored people themselves. The co-operation in rescuing fugitive 
slaves just before the war was due in considerable degree to this organ 
ization and others like it in different places. Siebert says: 

Soon after the Fugitive Slave Law was passed John Brown visited Spring 
field, Massachusetts, where he had formerly lived. The Valley of Connecticut 
had long been a line of underground travel and citizens of Springfield, colored 
and white, had become identified with operations on this line. Brown at once 
decided that the new law made organization necessary, and he formed, there 
fore, the League of Gileadites to resist systematically the enforcement of the 
law. The name of this order was significant in that it contained a warning to 
those of its members that should show themselves cowards: "Whosoever is 
fearful or afraid let him return and depart from Mount Gilead." In the 
"Agreement and Rules" that John Brown drafted from the order, adopted 
January 15, 1851, the following directions for action were laid down: "Should 
one of your number be arrested, you must collect together as quickly as possi 
ble so as to outnumber your adversaries Let no able bodied man 

appear on the ground unequipped or with his weapons exposed to view. 
Your plans must be known only to yourselves and with the under 
standing that all traitors must die wherever caught and proven guilty. 

Let the first blow be the signal for all to engage Make 

clean work with your enemies, and be sure you meddle not with any others. 

After effecting a rescue, if you are assailed, go into the houses of 

your most prominent and influential white friends with your wives, and that 
will effectually fasten upon them the suspicion of being connected with you, 

and will compel them to make a common cause with you You 

may make a tumult in the court-room \vhere the trial is going on by burning 
gunpowder freely in paper packages But in such case the pris 
oner will need to take the hint at once and bestir himself; and so should his 

32 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

friends improve the opportunity for a general rush Stand by one 

another and by your friends while a drop of blood remains ; and be hanged, if 
you must, but tell no tales out of school. Make no confessions." By adopting 
the Agreement and Rules, forty-four colored persons constituted themselves I 
"A branch of the United States League of Gileadites," and "agreed to have no 
officers except a treasurer and secretary pro tern, until after some trial of 
courage," when they could choose officers on the basis of "courage efficiency 
and general good conduct." Doubtless the Gileadites of Springfield did effi 
cient service, for it appears that the importance of the town as a way station 
on the Underground Road increased after the passage of the Fugitive Slave 
Bill. * 

That slaves should run away from slavery is, of course, perfectly nat 
ural, but there is also a further development of this idea in the desire 
of free Negroes to move either to different parts of the country or out of 
the country for the sake of having better chances for development. 
These movements were in some cases encouraged by the American Col 
onization Society, but in most cases the Negroes were suspiciousof that 
organization, and the first efforts in the line of migration began among 
themselves. These efforts commenced as early as 1815, and lasted down 
to 1880. In the midst of them came the war and emancipation. Let us, 
therefore, first take up the economic co-operation consequent on eman 
cipation and then the efforts toward migration. 

Section 7. Emancipation 

The first thing that vexed the Northern armies on Southern soil was 
the question of the disposition of the fugitive slaves. Butler confiscated 
them, Fremont freed them and Halleck caught and returned them, 
but their numbers swelled to such proportions that the mere economic 
problem of their presence overshadowed everything else, especially 
after the Emancipation proclamation. Lincoln was glad to have them 
come after once he realized their strength to the Confederacy. In 1864, 

The President s heart yearned for peace; his mind sought out every means 
of stopping the bloodshed. He referred to the really astonishing extent to 
which the colored people were informed in regard to the progress of the war, 
and remarked that he wished the "grapevine telegraph " could be utilized to 
call upon the Negroes of the interior peacefully to leave the plantations and 
seek protection of our armies. This as a war-time measure he considered le 
gitimate. Apart from the numbers it would add to our military forces, he 
explained the effect such an exodus would have upon the industry of the 
South. The Confederate soldiers were sustained by provisions raised by Ne 
gro labor; withdraw that labor, and the young men in the Southern army 
would soon be obliged to go home to " raise hog and hominy," and thus pro 
mote the collapse of the Confederacy, t 

Meantime, as Howard writes, the economic problem of these massed 
freedmen was intricate: 

In North Carolina, Chaplain Horace James of the Twenty-fifth Massachu 
setts Volunteers became Superintendent of Negro Affairs for North Carolina, 
and other officers were detailed to assist him. These covered the territory 

Siebert, pp. 78-75. f Eaton, p. 173. 

Emancipation 33 

gradually opened by the advance of our armies in both Virginia and North 
Carolina. Becoming a quartermaster with the rank of captain in 1864, he, for 
upward of two years, superintended the poor, both white and black, in that 
region. He grouped the refugees in small villages, and diligently attended to 
their industries and to their schools. Enlisted men were his first teachers; 
then followed the best of lady teachers from the North, and success crowned 
his efforts. 

In February, 1864, there were about two thousand freed people in the villager 

outside of the New Berne, North Carolina, intrenchments L*>ts were 

now assigned and about eight hundred houses erected, which at one time 
sheltered some three thousand escaped slaves.* 

June 28, 1862, Brigadier General Rufus Saxton, with headquarters at Beau 
fort, South Carolina, assumed the government and control of all places and 
persons in the Department of the South which were not embraced in the op 
erations of General Quincy A. Gilmore, commanding the department. General 
Saxton, as military governor, appointed three division superintendents, each 
having charge of several of the Sea Islands. Market houses were established 
at Hilton Head and Beaufort for the sale of the produce from the plantations, 
and Negroes put to work, the larger settlement being Port Royal Island and 
near the town of Beaufort. 

Colored men in that vicinity were soon enlisted as soldiers and an effort was 
made to cause the laborers left on each plantation, under plantation superin 
tendents appointed for the purpose, to raise sufficient cotton and corn for their 
own support, rations being given from the Com missionary Department only 
when necessary to prevent absolute starvation. These conditions were, with 
hardly an interruption, continued until the spring of 1865. 

Grant s army in the West occupied Grand Junction, Miss., by November, 
1862. The usual irregular host of slaves then swarmed in from the surround 
ing country. They begged for protection against recapture, and they, of 
course, needed food, clothing and shelter. They could not now be re-enslaved 
through army aid, yet no provision had been made by anybody for their sus 
tenance. A few were employed as teamsters, servants, cooks and pioneers, 
yet it seemed as though the vast majority must be left to freeze and starve; 
for when the storms came with the winter months the weather was of great 

General Grant, with his usual gentleness toward the needy and his fertility 
in expedients, introduced at once a plan of relief. He selected a fitting super 
intendent, John Eaton, chaplain of the Twenty-seventh Ohio Volunteers, who 
was soon promoted to the colonelcy of a colored regiment, and later for many 
years was a Commissioner of the United States Bureau of Education. He was 
then constituted Chief of the Negro Affairs for the entire district under 
Grant s jurisdiction. The plan which Grant conceived, the new superintend 
ent ably carried out. They were all around Grand Junction, when our opera 
tions opened, large crops of cotton and corn ungathered. It was determined 
to harvest these, send them North for sale, and place the receipts to the credit 
of the Government. The army of fugitives, willingly going to work, produced 
a lively scene. The children lent a hand in gathering the cotton and corn. 
The superintendent, conferring with the general himself, fixed upon fair wages 
for this industry. Under similar remuneration woodcutters were set at work 
to supply with fuel numerous government steamers on the river. After in 
spection of accounts, the money was paid for the labor by the quartermaster, 

* Howard: Vol. 2, 176-7. 

34 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

but never directly to the fugitives. The superintendent, controlling this 
money, saw to it first that the men, women and children should have sufficient 
clothing and food, then Colonel Eaton built for them rough cabins and pro 
vided for their sick and aged, managing to extend to them many unexpected 
comforts. General Grant in his memoirs suggests this as the first idea of a 
u Freedmen s Bureau." 

Even before the close of 1862 many thousands of blacks of all ages, clad in 
rags, with no possessions except the nondescript bundles of all sizes which 
the adults carried on their backs, had come together at Norfolk, Hampton, 
Alexandria and Washington. Sickness, want of food and shelter, sometimes 
resulting crime, appealed to the sympathies of every feeling heart. Landless, 
homeless, helpless families in multitudes, including a proportion of wretched 
white people, were flocking northward from Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas 
and Missouri. They were, it is true, for a time not only relieved by. army ra 
tions, spasmodically issued, but were met most kindly by various volunteer 
societies of the North societies which gathered their means from churches 
and individuals at home and abroad. 

During the spring of 1863 many different groups and crowds of freemen and 
refugees, regular and irregular, were located near the long and broken line of 
division between the armies of the North and South, ranging from Maryland 
to the Kansas border and along the coast from Norfolk, Ya., to New Orleans, 
La. They were similar in character and condition to those already described. 
Their virtues, their vices, their poverty, their sicknesses, their labors, their 
idleness, their excess of joy and their extremes of suffering were told to our 
home people by every returning soldier or agent or by the missionaries who 
were soliciting the means of relief. Soon in the North an extraordinary zeal 
for humanity, quite universal, sprang up, and a Christian spirit which was 
never before exceeded began to prevail. The result was the organizing of 
numerous new bodies of associated workers whose influence kept our country 
free from the ills attending emancipation elsewhere; it saved us from Negro 
insurrection, anarchy and bloody massacre, with which the proslavery men 
and even the conservative readers of history had threatened the land. 

The secretary of the treasury, Salmon P. Chase, always anxious for success 
ful emancipation, had had brought to his attention early in 1862 the accumu 
lations of the bestcotton on abandoned sea island plantations; there was the 
opportunity to raise more, and the many slaves in the vicinity practically set 
free and under governmental control could be worked to advantage. The 
cotton was to be collected by treasury agents and thefreedmen benefited. 

During the summer of 1864 Wm. Pitt Fessenden, who had replaced Mr. 
Chase as secretary of the treasury, inaugurated a new plan for the freedmen 
and abandoned lands. He appointed and located supervising special agents 
of his department in different portions of the South which were now free from 
Confederate troops. These agents had charge of the freedmen. Each was to 
form here and there settlements on abandoned estates, each dominated a 
"Freedman s Home Colony," and situated in his own district, and he must 
appoint a supervisor for such colonies as he should establish. A number of 
such colonies were formed. The supervisor provided buildings, obtained work 
animals and implements of husbandry and other essential supplies; he kept 
a book of record which mentioned the former owner of the land, the name, age, 
residence and trade or occupation of each colonist; all births, deaths and mar 
riages ; the coming and going of each employee and other like data. These 
agents and supervisors were sometimes taken under military control by the 
local commander and sometimes operated independently. 

Emancipation 35 

Under this plan the freed people were classified for fixed wages varying 
from $10 to $25 per month, according to the class, and whether male or female. 
There was a complete and detailed system of employment. Food and cloth 
ing were guaranteed at cost, and all parties concerned were put under written 
contracts. For a time in some places this system worked fairly well. It was 
a stepping-stone to independence. The working people usually had in the 
supervisors and treasury agents friendly counselors; and when courts of any 
f.ort were established under them for hearing complaints of fraud or oppres 
sion, these officials reviewed the cases and their decisions were final. These 
were rather short steps in the path of progress ! They were experiments. 

From the time of the opening of New Orleans in 1862 till 1865, different sys 
tems of caring for the escaped slaves and their families were tried in the 
.Southwest. Generals Butler and Banks, each in his turn, sought to provide 
for the thousands of destitute freedmen in medicines, rations and clothing. 
Colonies were soon formed and sent to abandoned plantations. A sort of gen 
eral poor farm was established and called "The Home Colony." Mr. Thomas 
W. Con way, when first put in charge of the whole region as "Superintendent 
of the Bureau of Free Labor," tried to impress upon all freedman who came 
under his charge in these home colonies that they must work as hard as if 
they were employed by contract on the plantation of a private citizen. His 
avowed object, and indeed that of every local superintendent, was to render 
the freedmen self-supporting. One bright freedman said: "I always kept 
master and me. Guess I can keep me." 

Two methods at first not much in advance of slavery were used : one was to 
force the laborers to toil ; and the second, when wages were paid, to fix exact 
rates for them by orders. Each colony from the first had a superintendent, a 
physician, a clerk and an instructor in farming. The primary and Sunday 
schools were not wanting, and churches were encouraged. 

Early in 1863, General Lorenzo Thomas, the adjutant general of the army, 
was organizing colored troops along the Mississippi river. After consulting 
various treasury agents and department commanders, including General 
Grant, and having also the approval of Mr. Lincoln, he issued fromMilliken s 
Bend, La., April 15th, a lengthy series of instructions covering the territory 
bordering the Mississippi and including all the inhabitants. 

He appointed three commissioners, Messrs. Field, Shickle and Livermore, 
to lease plantations and care for the employees. He adroitly encouraged pri 
vate enterprise instead of government colonies ; but he fixed the wages of 
able-bodied men over fifteen years of age at $7 per month, for able- 
bodied women $5 per month, for children twelve to fifteen years half 
price. He laid a tax for revenue of $2 per 400 pounds on cotton, and five cents 
per bushel on corn and potatoes. 

This plan naturally did not work well, for the lessees of plantations proved 
to be for the most part adventurers and speculators. Of course such men took 
advantage of the ignorant people. The commissioners themselves seem to 
have done more for the lessees than for the laborers; and, in fact, the wages 
were from the beginning so fixed as to benefit and enrich the employer. Two 
dollars per month was stopped against each of the employed, ostensibly for 
medical attendance, but to most plantations thus leased no physician or medi 
cine ever came, and there were other attendant cruelties which avarice con 

On fifteen plantations leased by the Negroes themselves in this region there 
was a notable success ; and also a few instances among others where humanity 
and good sense reigned, the contracts were generally carried out. Here the 

36 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Negroes were contented and grateful and were able to lay by small gains. 
This plantation arrangement along the Mississippi under the commissioners 
as well as the management of numerous infirmary camps passed, about the 
close of 1863", from the war to the treasury department. A new commission or 
agency with Mr.W. P. Mellen of the treasury at the head, established more 
careful and complete regulations than those of General Thomas. This time 
it was done decidedly in the interest of the laborers. 

Then came another change of jurisdiction. On March 11, 1865, General Ste 
phen A. Hurlbut at New Orleans assumed the charge of freedmen and labor 
for the state of Louisana. He based his orders on the failure of the secretary 
of the treasury to recognize the regulations of that secretary s own general 
agent, Mr. Mellen. Mr. Thomas W. Conway was announced as " Superintend 
ent of Home Colonies," the word having a larger extension than before. A 
registry of plantations, hire and compensation of labor, with a fair schedule 
of wages, penalties for idleness and crime, time and perquisites of labor, the 
poll tax of $2 per year, liens and security for work done, were carefully pro 
vided for by General Hurlbut s specific instructions. 

General Edward R. S. Canby, a little later, from Mobile, Ala., issued similar 
orders, and Mr. Conway was also placed over the freedmen s interests in his 
vicinity. Thus the whole freedmen s management for Alabama, Southern 
Mississippi and Louisiana was concentrated under Mr. Con way s control. He 
reported early in 1865 that there were about twenty colored regiments in 
TAHiisiana under pay and that they could purchase every inch of confiscated 
and abandoned lands in the hands of the government in that state. All the 
soldiers desired to have the land on the expiration of enlistment. One regi 
ment had in hand $50,000 for the purpose of buying five of the largest planta 
tions on the Mississippi. It was at the time thought by many persons inter 
ested in the future of the freedmen that the abandoned and confiscated lands 
if used for them would afford a wholesome solution to the Negro problem 

A few days after the triumphal en trance, Secretary of War Stanton came in 
person from Washington to convey his grateful acknowledgement to General 
Sherman and his army for their late achievements. While at Savannah he 
examined into the condition of the liberated Negroes found in that city. He 
assembled twenty of those who were deemed their leaders. Among them 
were barbers, pilots and sailors, some ministers, and others who had been 
overseers on cotton and rice plantations. Mr. Stanton and General Sherman 
gave them a hearing. It would have been wise if our statesmen could have 
received, digested and acted upon the answers these men gave to their ques 

As a result of this investigation and after considerable meditation upon the 
perplexing problem as to what to do with the growing masses of unemployed 
Negroes and their families, and after a full consultation with Mr. Stanton, 
General Sherman issued his Sea Island Circular January 16, 1865. In this pa 
per the islands from Charleston south, the abandoned rice fields along the 
rivers for thirty miles back from the sea and the country bordering the St. 
Johns river, Florida, were reserved for the settlement of the Negroes made 
free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President, 

General Rufus Saxton, already on the ground, w r as appointed Inspector of 
Settlements and Plantations; no other change was intended or desired in the 
settlements on Beaufort Island which had for three years been established. 

The inspector was required to make proper allotments and give possessory 
titles and defend them till Congress should confirm his actions. It was a bold 
move. Thousands of Negro families were distributed under this circular, and 

Emancipation 37 

the freed people regarded themselves for more than six months as in perma 
nent possession of these abandoned lands.* 

Taxes on the freedmen furnished most of the funds to run these first 
experiments, and also, later, the Freedmen s Bureau: 

On all plantations, whether owned or leased, where freedmen were em 
ployed a tax of one cent per pound on cotton and a proportional amount on all 
other products was to be collected as a contribution in support of the helpers 
among the freed people. A similar tax, varying with the value of the property, 
was levied by the government upon all leased plantations in lieu of rentt 

Eaton explains many details of the operations under him: 

As to the management of property, both government and private, the regu 
lation of wages and all general disciplinary measures, the following state 
ments should be made: One of my officers, Lieutenant B. K. Johnson, was 
assigned to duty as acting assistant quartermaster and acting commissary of 
subsistence of freedmen. He accomplished much for the economical manage 
ment of property, rendering satisfactory reports to Washington, as usually 
required of officers of those departments. All officers handling supplies re 
ceived from the government adjusted their methods of business, forms of 
reports, vouchers, etc., to army regulations, which required them to keep 
careful records of every transaction. Not a cent of money was ever drawn 
from the government for the freedmen on any account. 

For the support of the sick and those otherwise dependent a tax was temp 
orarily required (by Orders No. 63) on the wages of the able-bodied. It was 
thought at first that the Negroes would submit with reluctance to the collec 
tion of such a tax. But in this we were mistaken. Being a tax on wages, it 
compelled the employer and the employed to appear, one or both, before the 
officer charged with its collection, and this officer allowed no wages to go un 
paid. The Negro soon saw in the measure his first recognition by govern 
ment, and although the recognition appeared in the form of a burden, he re 
sponded to it with alacrity, finding in it the first assurance of any power pro 
tecting his right to make a bargain and hold the white man to its fulfilment. 
This comprehension of the affair argued a good sense of economic justice to a 
people entirely unused to such responsibilities. It was most interesting to 
watch the moral effect of the taxing ex-slaves. They freely acknowledged 
that they ought to assist in bearing the burden of the poor. They felt enno 
bled when they found that the government was calling upon them as men to 
assist in the process by which their natural rights were to be secured. Thous 
ands thus saw for the first time any money reward for their labor. The places 
where the tax was least rigidly collected were farthest behind in paying the 
colored man for his services. This tax, together with funds accruing from 
the profits of labor in the department, met all the incidental expenses of our 
widespread operations; paid $5,000 for hospitals; the salaries of all hospital 
stewards and medical assistants (as per Orders No. 94), and enabled us to supply 
implements of industry to the people, in addition to abandoned property. The 
same funds secured to the benefit of the Negroes, clothing, household utensils, 
and other articles essential to their comfort, to the amount of $103,000. The 
Negroes could not themselves have secured these commodities for less than 
-$350,000. The management of these funds and supplies was regulated by the 
exigencies of the people s condition, and was adapted as far as necessary to 
army methods, requiring a rigid system of accounts, monthly reports covered 

* Howard : Vol. 2, 178-80, 183-92. + Eaton, p. 147. 

38 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

by certificates and vouchers, followed by careful inspections, not only from 
my office, but from the generals commanding. 

According to Orders Xo. 9, issued by General L.Thomas, certain officers 
known as provost marshals were selected from the men of the Freedmen s 
Department to discharge toward the Negroes scattered on plantations the du 
ties of superintendent of freedmen. These officers were appointed by the 
commanding generals, and themselves appointed assistant provost marshals, 
who patrolled the districts assigned to them, correcting abuses on plantations 
and acting as the representatives of the law as upheld by the military power. 
There was some difficulty in maintaining the incorruptibility of these officers, 
and the territory which had to be covered by each individual was too extended, 
but the system, nevertheless, worked extremely well.* 

In 1864, July 5, Eaton reports: 

These freedmen are now disposed of as follows: In military service as sol 
diers laundresses, cooks, officers servants and laborers in the various staff 
departments, 41,150; in cities, on plantations and in freedmen s villages and 
cared for, 72,500. Of these, 62,300 are entirely self-supporting the same as any 
individual class anywhere else as planters, mechanics, barbers, hackmen, 
draymen, etc., conducting on their own responsibility or working as. hired 
laborers. The remaining 10,200 receive subsistence from the government, 
Three thousand of them are members N of families whose heads are carrying on 
plantations and have under cultivation 4,000 acres of cotton. They are to 
pay the government for their subsistence from the first income of the crop. 
The other 7,200 include the paupers, that is to say, all Negroes over and under 
the self-supporting age, the crippled and sick in hospital, of the 113,650, and 
those engaged in their care. Instead of being unproductive this class has now 
under cultivation 500 acres of corn, 790 acres of vegetables and 1,500 acres of 
cotton, besides working at wood-chopping and other industries. There are 
reported in the aggregate over 100,000 acres of cotton under cultivation. Of 
these about 7,000 acres are leased and cultivated by blacks. Some Negroes are 
managing as high as 300 or 400 acres, t 

This same year a report from Chaplain A. S. Fiske says: 
This inspection has covered ninety-five places leased by whites and fifty-six 
plats of land worked by the blacks for themselves, in the districts of Natchez, 
Vicksburg and Helena. In these districts I have left but few places without 
examination. % 

The experiment at Davis Bend, Miss., was of especial interest: 
Late in the season in November and December, 1864, the Freedmen s De 
partment w r as restored to full control over the camps and plantations on Presi 
dent s Island and Palmyra or Davis Bend. Both these points had been orig 
inally occupied at the suggestion of General Grant, and were among the most 
successful of our enterprises for the Negroes. With the expansion of the les 
see system, private interests were allowed to displace the interests of the Ne 
groes whom we had established there under the protection of the government, 
but orders issued by General N. J. T. Dana, upon whose sympathetic and in 
telligent co-operation my officers could always rely, restored to us the full 
control of these lands. The efforts of the freedmen on Davis Bend were par 
ticularly encouraging, and this property under Colonel Thomas able direction, 
became in reality the "Negro Paradise" that General Grant had urged us to 

Eaton, pp. 126-9. f Eaton, p. 134. J Eaton, p. 157. 

Emancipation 39 

make of it. Early in 1865 a system was adopted for their government in which 
the freedmen took a considerable part. The Bend was divided into districts, 
each having a sheriff and judge appointed from among the more reliable and 
intelligent colored men. A general oversight of the proceedings was main 
tained by our officers in charge, who confirmed or modified the findings of the 
court. The shrewdness of the colored judges was very remarkable, though it 
w r as sometimes necessary to decrease the severity of the punishments they pro 
posed. Fines and penal service on the Home Farm were the usual sentences 
imposed. Petty theft and idleness were the most frequent causes of trouble, 
but my officers were able to report that exposed property was as safe on Davis 
Bend as it would be anywhere. The community distinctively demonstrated 
the capacity of the Negro to take care of himself and exercise under honest 
and competent direction the functions of self-government. * 

Finally came the Freedmen s Bureau. Its work was thus summar 
ized by General O. O. Howard, its chief, in 1869: 

One year ago there w r ere on duty in this bureau one hundred and forty-one 
(141) commissioned officers, four hundred and twelve civilian agents, and three 
hundred and forty-eight (348) clerks. At present there are fifteen (15) com 
missioned officers, seventy-one (71) civilian agents, and seventy-two clerks. . . . 

The law establishing a Bureau committed to it the control of all subjects re 
lating to refugees and freedmen under such regulations as might be prescribed 
by the head of the Bureau and approved by the President. This almost unlim 
ited authority gave me great scope and liberty of action, but at the same time 
it imposed upon me very perplexing and responsible duties. Legislative, ju 
dicial and executive powers were combined in my commission, reaching all 
the interests of four millions of people, scattered over avast territory, living 
in the midst of another people claiming to be superior, and known to be not 
altogether friendly. It was impossible at the outset to do more than lay down 
general principles to guide the officers assigned as assistant commissioners in 
the several states 

The first information received from these officers presented a sad picture of 
want and misery. Though large sums of money had been contributed by 
generous Northern people ; though many noble-hearted men and women, with 
the spirit of true Christian missionaries, had engaged zealously in the work 
of relief and instruction; though the heads of the departments in Washing 
ton and military commanders in the field had done all in their power, yet the 
great mass of the colored people, just freed from slavery, had not been reached. 
In every state many thousands were found without employment, without 
homes, without means of subsistence, crowding into towns and about military 
posts, where they hoped to find protection and supplies. The sudden collapse 
of the rebellion, making emancipation an actual, universal fact, was like an 
earthquake. It shook and shattered the whole previously existing social sys 
tem. It broke up the old industries and threatened a reign of anarchy. Even 
well-disposed and humane landowners were at a loss what to do, or how to 
begin the work of reorganizing society, and of rebuilding their ruined for 
tunes. Very few had any knowledge of free labor, or any hope that their for 
mer slaves would serve them faithfully for wages. On the other hand, the 
freed people were in a state of great excitement and uncertainty. They could 
hardly believe that the liberty proclaimed was real and permanent. Many 
w r ere afraid to remain on the same soil that they had tilled as slaves lest by 

* Eaton, p. 1(55. 

40 Economic Cooperation Among Negro Americans 

some trick they might find themselves again in bondage. Others supposed 
that the Government would either take the entire supervision of their labor 
and support, or divide among them the lands of the conquered owners, and 
furnish them with all that might be necessary to begin life as independent 

In such an unsettled state of affairs it w^as no ordinary task we undertook 
to inspire hostile races with mutual confidence, to supply the immediate 
wants of the sick and starving, to restore social order, and to set in motion all 
the wheels of industry. ... . . 

Surely our government exercised a large benevolence. We have under our 
care no less than five hundred and eighty-four thousand one hundred and 
seventy-eight (584,178) sick and infirm persons, for whom no provision w r as 
made by local authorities, and who had no means themselves of procuring the 
attendance and comforts necessary to health and life. It has not been possi 
ble to provide for the proper treatment of the insane. For some of this un 
fortunate class admission has been gained by earnest correspondence to state 
asylums, but the majority have been of necessity retained in the bureau hos 
pitals, and all that could be done for them was to supply them with food and 
clothing and prevent them from doing injury. 

For more than a year our principal aim has been to relieve the general Gov 
ernment by transferring to the civil authorities all these dependent classes 
for future cure and treatment. To this end medicine and hospital stores have 
been furnished as an outfit where state or municipal governments have con 
sented to assume charge of destitute sick and disabled freedmen within their 
borders. By means of this aid, and by patient and persistent effort on the part 
of my officers, the hospitals, at one time numbering fifty-six (56), have been 
reduced to two (2), and one (1) of these is about to be closed. 

In addition to the sick, many others were destitute and required aid. To re 
lieve this destitution without encouraging pauperism and idleness was at all 
times a difficult problem 

The wonder is not that so many, but that so few, have needed help; that of 
the four millions of people thrown suddenly upon their own resources only 
one in about two hundred has been an object of public charity ; and nearly all 
who have received aid have been persons who, by reason of age, infirmity or 
disease, would be objects of charity in any state at any time. 

It would have been impossible to reach such satisfactory results and reduce 
the issue of supplies to so small proportions had not employment been found 
for a great multitude of able-bodied men and women, who, when first free, 
knew not where to look for remunerative labor 

They were uniformly assisted by us in finding good places and in making 
reasonable bargains. To secure fairness and inspire confidence on both sides, 
the system of written contracts was adopted. No compulsion was used, but 
all were advised to enter into written agreements and submit them to an offi 
cer of the Bureau for approval. The nature and obligations of these contracts 
were carefully explained to the freedmen, and a copy filed in the office of the 
agent approving it; this was for their use in case any difficulty arose between 
them and their employers. The labor imposed upon my officers and agents 
by this system was very great, as evinced by the fact that in a single state not 
less than fifty thousand (50,000) such contracts were drawn in duplicate and 
filled up with the names of all the parties. But the result has been highly 
satisfactory. To the freedmen, the Bureau office in this way became a school 
in which he learned the first practical business lessons of life, and from year 
to year he has made rapid progress in this important branch of education. 

Emancipation 41 

Nor can it be doubted that much litigation and strife were prevented. It 
could not be expected that such a vast and complicated machinery would work 
without friction. The interests of capital and labor very often clash in all 
communities. The South has not been entirely exempt from troubles of this 
kind. Some employers have been dishonest and have attempted to defraud 
the freedmen of just wages. Some laborers have been unfaithful and unreas 
onable in their demands. But in the great majority of cases brought before 
us for settlement, the trouble and misunderstanding; have arisen from vague 
verbal bargains and a want of specific written contracts 

In spite of all disorders that have prevailed and the misfortunes that have 
fallen upon many parts of the South, a good degree of prosperity and success has 
already been attained. To the oft-repeated slander that the Negroes will not 
work, and are incapable of taking care of themselves, it is a sufficient answer 
that their voluntary labor has produced nearly all the food that supported the 
whole people, besides a large amount of rice, sugar and tobacco for export, 
and two millions of bales of cotton each year, on which was paid into the 
United States treasury during the years 1866 and 1867 a tax of more than forty 
millions of dollars ($40,000,000). It is not claimed that this result is wholly due 
to the care and oversight of this Bureau, but it is safe to say, as it has been 
said repeatedly by intelligent Southern white men, that without the Bureau 
or some similar agency, the material interests of the country would have 
greatly suffered, and the Government would have lost a far greater amount 
than has been expended in its maintenance 

Of the nearly eight hundred thousand (800,000) acres of farming land and 
about five thousand (5,000) pieces of town property transferred to this Bureau 
by military and treasury officers, or taken up by assistant commissioners, 
enough was leased to produce a revenue of nearly four hundred thousand dol 
lars ($400,000). Some farms were set apart in each State as homes for the des 
titute and helpless, and a portion was cultivated by freedmen prior to its 

Notice the appropriations by Congress : 

For the year ending July 1, 1867 $ (5,940,450 (X) 

For the year ending July 1, 1868 3,936,300.00 

For the relief of the destitute citizens in District of Co 
lumbia 40,000. 00 

For relief of the destitute freedmen in the same 15,000.00 

For expenses of paying bounties in 1869 214,000 00 

For expenses for famine in Southern states and trans 
portation 1,865,645.40 

For support of hospitals 50,000.00 

Making a total, received from all sources, of $12,961,395 40 

Our expenditures from the beginning (including assumed accounts of the 
"Department of Negro Affairs"), from January 1, 1865, to August 31, 1869, have 
been eleven million two hundred and forty-nine thousand and twenty-eight 
dollars and ten cents ($11,249,028.10). In addition to this cash expenditure the 
subsistence, medical supplies, quartermaster stores, issued to the refugees and 
freedmen prior to July 1, 1866, were furnished by the commissionary, medical 
and quartermaster s department, and accounted for in the current expenses of 
those departments; they were not charged to nor paid for by my officers- 
They amounted to two million three hundred and thirty thousand seven hun 
dred and eighty-eight dollars and seventy-two cents ($2,330,788.72) in original 
cost ; but a large portion of these stores being damaged and condemned as unrit 
for issue to troops, their real value to the Government was probably less than 

42 Economic Cooperation Among Negro Americans 

one million of dollars ($1,000,000). Adding their original cost to the amount 
expended from appropriations and other sources, the total expenses of our 
Government for refugees and freedmen to August 31, 1869, have been thirteen 
millions five hundred and seventy-nine thousand eight hundred and sixteen 
dollars and eighty-two cents ($13,579,816.82). And deducting fifty thousand dol 
lars ($50,000) set apart as a special relief fund for all classes of destitute people 
in the Southern states, the real cost has been thirteen millions twenty-nine 
thousand eight hundred and sixteen dollars and eighty-two cents ($13,- 
029,8 16.82). * 

That the economic co-operation of the freedrnen under outside lead 
ership made the Freedmen s Bureau thus possible goes without saying. 
Not only that, but there is much testimony as to independent co-opera 
tion on their part: 

In a few instances freedmen have combined their means and purchased 
farms already under cultivation. They have everywhere manifested a great 
desire to become landowners, a desire in the highest degree laudable and 
hopeful for their future civilization. 

The Negroes were also showing their capacity to organize labor and apply 
capital to it. Harry, to whom I referred in my second report as "my faithful 
guide and attendant, who had done for me more service than any white man 
could render," with funds of his own and some borrowed money, bought at 
the recent tax sales a small farm of three hundred and thirteen acres for 
three hundred and five dollars. He was to plant sixteen and a half acres of 
cotton, twelve and a half of corn, one and a half of potatoes. I rode through 
his farm on the tenth of April, my last day in the territory, and one-third of 
his crop was then in Harry lives in the house of the former over 
seer, and delights, though not boastingly, in his position as a landed proprie 
tor. He has promised to write me, or rather to dictate a letter, giving an ac 
count of the progress of his crop. He has had much charge of Government 
property, and when Captain Hooper and General Saxton s staff was coining 
North last autumn, Harry proposed to accompany him ; but at last, of hi.s 
own accord, gave up the project, saying, " It ll not do for all two to leave to 

Another caseof capacity for organization should be noted. The Government 
is building twenty-one houses for the Kdisto people, eighteen feet by fourteen, 
with two rooms, each provided with a sw T inging-board window, and the roof 
projecting a little as a protection from rain. The journeymen carpenters are 
seventeen colored men who have fifty cents per day without rations, working 
ten hours. They are under the direction of Frank Barnwell, a freedman, who 
receives twenty dollars a month. Rarely have I talked with a more intelli 
gent contractor. It was my great regret that I had not time to visit the village 
of improved houses near the Hilton Head camp, which General Mitchell had 
extemporized, and to which he gave so much of the noble enthusiasm of his 
last days. 

Next as to the development of manhood. This has been shown in the first 
place, in the prevalent disposition to acquire land. It did not appear upon our 
first introduction to these people, and they did not seem to understand us 
when we used to tell them that we wanted them to own land. But it is now 
an active desire. At the recent tax sales, six out of forty-seven plantations 
sold were bought by them, comprising two thousand five hundred and ninety - 

* Howard, Vol. 2, 361-7, 371-2. 

Emancipation 43 

five acres, sold for twenty-one hundred and forty-five dollars. In other cases 
the Negroes had authorized the superintendent to bid for them, but the land 
was reserved by the United States. One of the purchases was that made by 
Harry, noted above. The other five were made by the Negroes on the planta 
tions combining the funds they had saved from the sale of their pigs, chickens 
and eggs, and from the payments made to them for work, they then dividing 
off the tract peaceably among themselves. On one of these, where Kit, before 
mentioned, is the leading spirit, there are twenty-three field hands. They 
have planted and are cultivating sixty-three acres of cotton, fifty of corn, six 
of potatoes, with as many more to be planted, four and a half of cowpeas, 
three of peanuts, and one and a half of rice. These facts are most significant. 
The instinct for land to have one spot on earth where a man may stand and 
whence no human can of right drive him is one of the most conservative 
elements of our nature ; and a people who have it in any fair degree will never 
be nomads or vagabonds.* 

Some relief and compensation were given by the act of Congress approved 
June 21, 1866, which opened for entry, by colored and white men without dis 
tinction, all the public lands in the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, 
Arkansas and Florida. Information was published through my officers and 
agents respecting the location and value of these lands, and the mode of pro 
cedure in order to obtain possession of them. Surveys were made and some 
assistance granted in transporting families to their new homes. Want of 
teams and farming implements, as well as opposition from their white neigh 
bors, prevented many from taking the benefit of this homestead act; but 
about four thousand families have faced and overcome these obstacles, have 
acquired homes of their own and commenced work with energy, building 
houses and planting. In a few instances freedmen have combined their means 
and purchased farms already under cultivation. They have everywhere 
manifested a great desire to become landowners, a desire in the highest degree 
laudable and hopeful for their future civilization. Next to a proper religious 
and intellectual training, the one thing needful to the freedmen is land and a 
home. Without that a high degree of civilization and moral culture is 
scarcely possible. So long as he is merely one of a herd working for hire, and 
living on another s domain, he must be dependent and destitute of manly in 
dividuality and self-reliance. f 

South Carolina appropriated last year $200,000 to buy land in the upper part 
of the state which has been sold to freedmen for homesteads. Upwards of 
40,000 acres of this land have been actually sold during the year to poor men 
of all colors. The Governor says he intends this year to recommend for the 
same purpose an appropriation of ,$40,000 

The freedmen are very eager for land. The savings they have placed in our 
banks, and the profits of cotton this year, are enabling them to make large 
purchases. In Orangeburg county, South Carolina, hundreds of colored men 
have bought lands and are building and settling upon them. In a single day, 
in our Charleston Savings Bank, I took the record of seventeen freedmen who 
were drawing their money to pay for farms they had been buying, generally 
forty or fifty acres each, paying about $10 per acre. I met at a cotton mer 
chant s in that city, ten freedmen who had clubbed together with the proceeds 
of their crop and bought a whole sea island plantation of seven hundred acres. 
The merchant was that day procuring their deed. He told me that the entire 

Freedmen at Port Royal, pp. iJOi)-10. 

-t Report of Brevet Major General O. O. Howard, October 20, I860, p. 10. 

44 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

purchase price was paid in cash from the balance due them on the crop of the 
season. Here, then, besides supporting their families with provisions raised, 
these men had each, by the profits of a single year bought a farm of seventy 
acres. What northern laborer could do better ? 

I found on the islands other clubs forming to do the same thing, arid this in 
a season when the caterpillar had destroyed one-half their cotton. A leading 
ootton broker in Charleston told me that he thought nearly half the cotton on 
the islands belonged to the colored men. He had himself already 126 consign 
ments for them, and the amount of his sales on their account had reached 
over $30,000. As I learned, the average of the freedmen s crop, or share of 
crop, of Sea Island cotton is from three to six hundred pounds 

Just out of the city is a settlement of about one hundred families something 
like the Barry farm at Washington where small homesteads have been pur 
chased and are being paid for; average value of each from $100 to $500. These 
families are joyously cultivating their own gardens and provision grounds, 
also finding work in the city. The Bureau has erected for them a convenient 
house, now used for a school and chapel. 

Further in the interior the freedmeii are buying or renting land and raising 
their own crops. A community of such families, about thirty miles out (in 
South Carolina), came in, a few days since, to market their crops for the sea 
son. They had chartered a railroad car for $140 the round trip, and loading it 
with cotton, corn, etc., exchanged the same for cloth ing, furniture, implements 
of husbandry and supplies for putting in their next crop. They came to us on 
returning and begged very hard that a teacher might be sent to their settle 
ment, promising to pay all expenses. These are the indications of the drift of 
these people towards independent home life and profitable labor. Although 
the savings bank here is one of the most recently established, it has had de 
posited over $60,000, of which $31,000 is still to their credit, 

I find the following history of the Freedmen s labor: 

The first year they worked for bare subsistence; second year they bought 
stock mules, implements, etc.; third year many rented lands; and now, the 
fourth year, large numbers are prepared to buy. This is the record of the 
most industrious, others are following at a slower pace. In this process diffi 
culties have been encountered low r wages, fraud, ill treatment, etc., some be 
coming discouraged, but the majority are determined to rise. As illustrations : 
Several freedmen in Houston county have bought from 100 to 600 acres of land 
each. One man is now planting for fifty bales of cotton. A colored company 
(called Peter Walker s) own 1,500 acres. Two brothers (Warren) saved in the 
bank $600 and with it obtained a title to 1,500 acres, having credit for the bal 
ance, and both are now building houses and preparing to make a crop which 
they expect will clear off their whole debt. In Americus fully one hundred 
houses and lots belong to the colored people.* 

Last spring 160 Negroes banded together, chose one of the smartest of their 
number as superintendent and commenced work. Now they show you with 
pride 250 acres of rice, 250 acres of corn, nearly the same amount of peas (beans 
we should call them), besides many acres of smaller crops. This joint stock 
company is working not only with energy but with perfect harmony. 

Thus it was that the Negro emerged to a semblance of economic free 
dom only to be met by the Black Codes and political revolution. 
We will now turn back to the alternate way in which both the slave 

* J. \V. Alford: Letters from the South, etc., pp. 5, 9, 10, 15 and 19. 

Migration 45 

and the freedman sought a broader chance to live and develop, namely, 

Section 8. Migration 

As early as 1788 the Negro Union of Newport, R. I., wrote to the free 
African Society of Philadelphia proposing a general exodus of Negroes 
to Africa. To this the Free African Society soberly replied : "With 
regard to the immigration to Africa you mention, we have at present 
but little to communicate on that head, apprehending every pious man 
is a good citizen of the whole world. 1 But the desire to better their 
condition by going to some other country had taken root among the 
best New England Negroes. The Cuffes, for instance, John and Paul, 
petitioned for the right to vote in 1780, and in 1815 we find that Paul 
Cuffe, the younger, who was a merchant between America and Africa, 
had started to take a colony to Africa. Thus an early attempt at African 
colonization by a band of New England Negroes started the year before 
the American Colonization Society was organized: 

It was conducted by Paul Cuffe, who was born in New Bedford, Mass., of an 
African father and an Indian mother. He had risen from abject poverty to 
wealth and respectability, and was largely engaged in navigation. He be 
lieved that only in Africa could his people find civil and religious liberty. At 
a cost to himself of four thousand dollars, and in his own vessel, he took out 
from Boston a colony of thirty-eight persons,* which landed at Sierra Leone, 
and might have resulted in something permanent and valuable but for the 
death of Cuffe in the following year, and the exclusion of American vessels 
from British colonies. The next year the Colonization Society began its work. 
The first important movement of the Colonization Society was to send out, on 
borrowed money, Samuel J. Mills and Ebenezer Burgess to select a suitable 
site for a colony. They sailed November 16, 1817, and arrived the 22d of the 
following March. They passed down the coast some one hundred and twenty 
miles to the island Sherbro, at the mouth of a river of the same name. Here 
they found a small but prosperous colony under the direction of John Kizzel, 
who had built a church on the island and was preaching to the people. Kizzel 
had been carried from Africa when a child and sold as a slave in South Caro 
lina, but had joined the British during the Revolutionary war, and at its close 
had sailed from Nova Scotia with a company of colored people to reside in 

The first ten years witnessed the struggles of a noble band of colored people, 
who sought a new home on the edge of a continent given over to the idolatry 
of the heathen. The funds of the Society were not as large as the nature and 
scope of the work demanded. Emigrants went slowly, not averaging more 
than 170 per annum only 1,232 in ten years: but the average from the first of 
January, 1848, to the last of December, 1852, was 540 yearly ; and, in the single 
year of 1853, 782 emigrants arrived at Monrovia. In 1855 the population of 
Monrovia and Cape Palmas had reached about 8,000. 

The Colonization Society found many eminent Negroes to help them and 
Liberia was in its very foundation an example of Negro co-operation. One was 
Lott Carey, who was born a slave in Virginia, about 1780. His father was a 
Baptist. In 1804 Lott removed to Richmond, where he worked in a to- 

*Arnett s Budgett, 1885-6, pp. 164-5. 

46 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

bacco factory and from all accounts was very profligate and wicked. In 
1807, being converted, he joined the first Baptist Church, learned to read, made 
rapid advancement as a scholar, and was shortly afterwards licensed to 

After purchasing his family, in 1813, he organized, in 1815, the African Mis 
sionary Society, the first missionary society in the county, and within five 
years raised $700 for African missions. 

ThatLott Carey was evidently a man of superior intellect and force of char 
acter is to be evidenced from the fact that his reading took a wide range 
from political economy, in Adam Smith s Wealth of Nations, to the voyage of 
Captain Cook. 

That he was a worker as well as a preacher is true, for when he decided to 
go to Africa his employers offered to raise his salary from $800 to $1,000 a year. 
Remember that this was over eighty years ago. Carey was not seduced by 
such a flattering offer, for he was determined. His last sermon in the old First 
Baptist Church in Richmond must have been exceedingly powerful, for it was 
compared by an eye witness, a resident of another state, to the burning, elo 
quent appeals of George Whitefield. Fancy him as he stands there in that 
historic building ringing the changes on the word "freely," depicting the 
willingness with which he was ready to give up his life for service in Africa. 

He, as you may readily know, was the leader of the pioneer colony to Libe 
ria, where he arrived even before the agent of the Colonization Society. In 
his new home his abilities were recognized, for he was made vice governor 
and became governor, in fact, while Governor Ashmun was absent from the 
colony in this country. Carey did not allow his position to betray the cause 
of his people, for he did not hesitate to expose the duplicity of the Coloniza 
tion Society and even to defy their authority, it would seem, in the interests 
of the people. 

While casting cartridges to defend the colonists against the natives in 1828, 
the accidental upsetting of a candle caused an explosion that resulted in his 

Carey is described as a typical Negro, six feet in height, of massive and erect 
frame, with the sinews of a Titan. He had a square face, keen eyes and a 
grave countenance. His movements were measured; in short, he had all the 
bearings and dignity of a prince of the blood. * 

The first Negro college graduate also went to Liberia: 
John Brown Russwurm was born in 1799 at Port Antonio in the island of 
Jamaica of a Creole mother. When 8 years old he was put at school in Quebec. 
His father meanwhile came to the United States and married in the District 
of Maine. Mrs. Russwurm, true wife that she was, on learning the relation 
ship, insisted that John Brown (as hitherto he had been called) should be sent 
for and should thenceforth be one of the family. Through his own exertions, 
with some help from others, he was at length enabled to enter college and to 
complete the usual course. It should be remembered, to the credit of his fel 
low students in Brunswick, that peculiar as his position was among them, 
they were careful to avoid everything that might tend to make that position 
unpleasant. From college he w r ent to New York and edited an abolition pa 
per. This did not last long. He soon became interested in the colonization 
cause, and engaged in the service of the society. In 1829 he went to x\frica as 
superintendent of public schools in Liberia, and engaged in mercantile pur 
suits in Monrovia. From 1830 to 1834 he acted as colonial secretary, superin- 

* Cromwell, in The Negro Church. 

Migration 47 

tending at the same time and editing with decided ability the Liberia Herald. 
In 1836 he was appointed Governor of the Maryland Colony at Cape Palmas, 
and so continued until his death in 1851. With what fidelity and ability he 
discharged the duties of this responsible post may be gathered from the fol 
lowing remarks of Mr. Latrobe, at the time the president of the Maryland 
Colonization Society. He was addressing the Board of Managers: "None 
knew better," he said, "or so well as the Board under what daily responsibili 
ties Governor Russwurm s life in Africa was passed, and how conscientiously 
he discharged them; how, at periods when the very existence of the then in 
fant colony depended upon its relations with surrounding tribes of excited 
natives, his coolness and admirable judgment obviated or averted impending 
perils; how, when the authority and dignity of the colonial government were 
at stake in lamentable controversies with civilized and angry white men, the 
calm decorum of his conduct brought even his opponents to his side; how, 
popular clamor among the colonists calling upon him as a judge to disregard 
the forms of law and sacrifice of offending individuals in the absence of legal 
proof, he rebuked the angry multitude by the stern integrity of his conduct; 
and how, when on his visit to Baltimore in 1848 he was thanked personally by 
the members of the board, he deprecated the praise bestowed upon him for 
the performance of his duty, and impressed all who saw him with the modest 
manliness of his character and his most excellent and courteous bearing."* 

Most of the thinking Negroes of the United States were, however, 
opposed to emigration to Africa. Bishop Allen wrote a strong letter 
against it in 1827 to the Freedmen^s Journal. 

In the first Negro convention held at Philadelphia in 1831, 

The question of emigration to Canada West, after an exhaustive discussion 
which continued during the two days of the convention s sessions, was recom 
mended as a measure of relief against the persecution from which the colored 
American suffered in many places in the North. Strong resolutions against 
the American Colonization Society were adopted. The formation of a parent 
society with auxiliaries in the different localities represented in the conven 
tion, for the purpose of raising money to defray the object of purchasing a 
colony in the province of upper Canada, and ascertain more definite informa 
tion, having been effected, the convention adjourned to reassemble on the 
first Monday in June, 1831, during which time the order of the convention re 
specting the organization of the auxiliary societies had been carried into 
operation, t 

Again at a second convention in 1832, 

The question exciting the greatest interest was one which proposed the pur 
chase of other lands for settlement in Canada ; for 800 acres of land had already 
been secured, two thousand individuals had left the soil of their birth, crossed 
the line and laid the foundation for a structure which promised an asylum for 
the colored population of the United States. They had already erected two 
hundred log houses and five hundred acres of land had been brought under 
cultivation. But hostility to the settlement of the Negro in that section had 
been manifested by Canadians, many of whom would sell no land to the Ne 
gro. This may explain the hesitation of the convention and the appointment 
of an agent, whose duty it was to make further investigation and report to the 
subsequent convention. 

Atlanta University Publication, No. 5, pp. 32-3. 
{-American Negro Academy, occasional papers, No. 9, p. 6. 

48 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Opposition to the colonization movement was emphasized by a strong pro 
test against any appropriation by Congress in behalf of the American Coloni 
zation Society. Abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia was also 
urged at the same convention. This was one year before the organization of 
the American Anti-Slavery Society. 

A convention at Rochester, N. Y., in 1853 pronounced against emigra 

But those who saw only in emigration the solution of the evils with which 
they were beset, immediately called another convention to consider and decide 
upon the subject of emigration from the United States. According to the call, 
no one was admitted to the convention who would introduce the subject of 
emigration to any part of the eastern hemisphere, and opponents of emigra 
tion were also to be excluded. 

Bishop Holly of Hayti, writes : " The convention was accordingly held. The 
Rev. William Munroe was president, the Rt. Rev. (William) Paul Quiim, vice- 
president, Dr. Delaney, chairman of the business committee, and I was the 

"There were three parties in that emigration convention, ranged according 
to the foreign fields they preferred to emigrate to. Dr. Delaney headed the 
party that desired to go to the Niger V alley in Africa, Whitfield the party 
which preferred to go to Central America, and Holly the party which pre 
ferred to go to Hayti. 

"All these parties were recognized and embraced by the convention. Dr. 
Delaney was given a commission to go to Africa, in the Niger Valley, Whit- 
field to go to Central America, and Holly to Hayti, to enter into negotiations 
with the authorities of these various countries for Negro emigrants and to re 
port to future conventions. Holly was the first to execute his mission, going 
down to Hayti in 1855, when he entered into relations with the Minister of the 
Interior, the father of the late President Hyppolite, and by him was presented 
to Emperor Faustin I. The next emigration convention was held at Chatham, 
Canada West, in 1856, when the report on Hayti was made. Dr. Delaney went 
off on his mission to the Niger Valley, Africa, via England in 1858. There he 
concluded a treaty signed by himself and eight kings, offering inducements 
for Negro emigrants to their territories. Whitfield went to California, intend 
ing to go later from thence to Central America, but died in San Francisco 
before he could do so. Meanwhile (James) Redpath went to Hayti as a John 
Brownist after the Harper s Ferry raid, and reaped the first fruits of Holly s 
mission by being appointed Haytian Commissioner of Emigration in the 
United States by the Haytian Government, but with the express injunction 
that Rev. Holly should be called to co-operate with him. On Redpath s arrival 
in the United States, he tendei ed Rev. Holly a commission from the Haytian 
Government at $1,000 per annum and traveling expenses to engage emigrants 
to go to Hayti. The first shipload of emigrants went from Philadelphia in 

"Not more than one-third of the 2,000 emigrants to Hayti received through 
this movement permanently abided there. They proved to be neither intel 
lectually, industrially nor financially prepared to undertake to wring from 
the soil the riches that it is ready to yield up to such as shall be thus prepared ; 
nor are the Government and influential individuals sufficiently instructed in 
social, industrial and financial problems which now govern the world, to turn 
to profitable use willing workers among the laboring class. 

"The Civil war put a stop to the African emigration project by Dr. Delaney 

Migration 49 

taking the commission of major from President Lincoln, and the Central 
American project died out with Whitfield, leaving the Hay tian emigration as 
the only remaining practical outcome of the emigration convention of 1854." * 

Nothing more was heard of emigration from the Negroes themselves 
until after the war. With the overthrow of the Negro suffrage in 1870 
and the consequent reign of terror, the project was revived. 

Simultaneously the movement arose in several states. The first 
leader was Benjamin Singleton, a Negro undertaker of Tennessee, who 
began in 1869 and brought in all two colonies of 7,432 Negroes to Kansas. 

A corporation was formed as follows: 

Certificate of Incorporation 
The Singleton Colony 


The name of this corporation shall be "The Singleton Colon} 7 of Morris and 
Lyon Counties, State of Kansas." 

The purpose for which this corporation is formed is to promote emigration 
and the encouragement of agriculture and the acquisition of homes for colored 

The place where its business is to be transacted is at Dunlap, in the county 
of Morris, state of Kansas. 


The term for which this corporation is to exist is fifty years. 


The number of directors or trustees of this corporation shall not be more 
than thirteen, f 

Henry Adams started an even greater movement in Louisiana. He 
said to the Senate committee: 

In 1870, I believe it was, or about that year, after I had left the army I went 
into the army in 1866, and came out the last of 1869 and went right back home 
again, where I went from, Shreveport; I enlisted there, and went back there. 
I enlisted in the regular army, and then I went back after I had come out of 
the army. After we had come out a parcel of we men that was in the army 
and other men thought that the way our people had been treated during the 
time that we were in service we heard so much talk of how they had been 
treated and oppressed so much and there was no help for it that caused me 
to go into the army at first, the way our people was opposed. There was so 
much going on that I went off and left it; when I came back it was still going 
on, part of it, not quite so bad as at first. So a parcel of us got together and 
said that we would organize ourselves into a committee and look into affairs 
and see the true condition of our race, to see whether it was possible we could 
stay under a people who had held us under bondage or not. Then we did so 
and organized a committee. Some of the members of the committee was 
ordered by the committee to go into every state in the South where we had 
been slaves there, and post one another from time to time about the true con 
dition of our race, and nothing but the truth. 

American Negro Academy: Occasional papers,No. 9, pp. 20-1. 

T Negro Exodus from the Southern States, Vol. 8, pp. 887-s,3rd part. 

50 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Then came increasing outrages. This organization appealed to the 
President and Congress in September, 1874. By 1877, however, the 
organization lost hopes of peace and justice in the South. 

We found ourselves in such condition that we looked around and we seed 
that there was no way on earth, it seemed, that we could better our condition 
there, and we discussed that thoroughly in our organization along in May. 
We said that the whole South every state in the South had got into the 
hands of the very men that held us slaves from one thing to another and we 
thought that the men that held us slaves was holding the reins of govern 
ment over our heads in every respect almost, even the constable up to the 
governor. We felt we had almost as well be slaves under these men. In re 
gard to the whole matter that was discussed, it came up in every council. 

Then we said there was no hope for us and we had better go We 

had several organizations; there were many organizations; I can t tell you 
how many immigration associations, and so forth, all springing out of our 
colonization council. We had a large meeting, some five thousand people 
present, and made public speeches in 1877 on immigration. 

The convention met April 17, 1879, and it declared: 

The fiat to go forth is irresistible. The constantly recurring, nay r ever pres- 
ent,fear which haunts the minds of these our people in the turbulent parishes 
of the state is, that slavery in the horrible form of peonage is approaching ; 
that the avowed disposition of the men now in power is to reduce the laborer 
and his interest to the minimum of advantages as freemen and to absolutely 
none as citizens, has produced so absolute a fear that in many cases it has 
become a panic. It is flight from present sufferings and from the wrongs to 
come. The committee finds that this exodus owes its effectiveness to society 
organizations among plantation laborers ; that it began with the persecutions 
and the political mobs of the years 1874 and 1875, and was organized as a coloni 
zation council in August, 1874, for emigration. This organization beginning 
in Caddo Parish, spread rapidly from parish to parish until it had permeated 
the state, and in sections particularly known as the cotton belt, where law 
lessness and outrages upon black persons are most frequent, the society has 
been most active. 

Today this organization, as your committee has definitely learned, numbers 
on its rolls 92,800 names of men, women and children over twelve years of age, 
in Louisiana, Northwestern Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama; 69,000 
of these are represented in the different parishes of this state. The cohesive- 
ness of this organization in its secrecy and management being entirely com 
mitted to the plantation laborers and their direct representatives, has secured 
its potency. The representative political leader was neither intrusted with 
nor informed of its existence. Year by year since 1874 the organization, as 
encroachment after encroachment was made on the rights of the colored peo 
ple, grew and strengthened, and now when reduced to virtual peonage and 
the threatened deprivation of all rights as freemen and citizens is imminent, 
the exodus has ensued and its consequences are manifest.* 

Actual movement of immigrants began in 1879. In Alabama the 
movement took shape in a labor convention, at Montgomery in 1872, 
which listened to a report from an agent sent to Kansas. The commit 
tee on labor and wages declared : 

* Negro Exodus from Southern States, Vol. 8, part 2, pp. 39, 101, 108-9. 



It will be seen from the above figures that the laborer is compelled to pay, 
in round numbers, 40 per cent for all the capital borrowed. We submit this is 
usury ; the capitalist charging just five times the lawful interest: 

Recapitulation of a Laborer s Account 

Total from all sources $HK7.8l 

Total outlay 3M 20 

Prollts . . 

..$ 81.11 

Out of this amount ($81.11), the laborer must clothe himself and family, feed 
the little ones, and furinsh medical attendance for the same. Hence his ina 
bility to accumulate property. Mr. McKiel then introduced the following 
resolution, which was adopted: 

Whereas, the report of the committee on labor and wages shows a sad con 
dition of affairs amongst the colored citizens of Alabama, owing in a great 
part to the fact that we are landless: Therefore, 

Be it resolved, That this convention memorialize the Congress of the United 
{States to pass the bill now pending before that honorable body, known as "A 
hill to incorporate the Freedmen s Homestead Company," thinking as we do 
that such a company would do much good by assisting many poor men to ob 
tain homes, thereby rendering him a free and independent citizen.* 

On December 2, 1874, another convention met in Montgomery and 
feent a long memorial to President Grant. The convention declared : 

We have, therefore, organized an emigration association to give to them 
authority to take steps as will best effect the early settlement of a colony of 
colored families in the far West, which, in case of success, may be a nucleus 
around which many thousands of the hard-working colored families of Ala 
bama may build for themselves happy homes.f 

In Texas we are told this story: 

Last July we held a state conference ; that is, I mean the delegates, of whom 
I was one. This conference was held in the city of Houston for the purpose 
of consulting the best steps to be taken with regard to the migration of col 
ored people, and also to their future elevation. I had the honor of being 
elected one of the commissioners on migration from the sixth Congressional 
district. I have been traveling over the counties of my district ever since, 
lecturing to my people. Since last July I have gone through the following 
counties, and received the following amounts from each county : Hays county, 
$4.40; Caldwell county, $16.50; Gruadalupe county, $8.90; Comal county, $3.20; 
Blanco county, $1.50; Kendall county, $2.75; Kerr county,$2.55; Wilson county, 
^(i.85; (ionzales county, $14.35; DeWitt county, $2(5.95; Victoria county, $21.20; 
Goliad county, $13.40, the total amounting to $122.55. In many counties I have 
walked from thirty to forty miles, because the people were so poor they could 
not help me.} 

North Carolina had a movement in 1878: 

We, the undersigned colored people of the second Congressional district of 
North Carolina, having labored hard for several years, under disadvantages 
over which we had no control, to elevate ourselves to a higher plane of Chris 
tian civilization; and, whereas, our progress has been so retarded as to nearly 

* Negro Exodus from Southern States, Vol. 8, p. 140, 8rd part, 
t Negro Exodus from Southern States, Vol. 8, 2nd part, p, 40L 
t Negro Exodus from Southern States, Vol. 7, pp. 430. 

52 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

nullify all our efforts, after dispassionate and calm consideration, our deliber 
ate conviction is, that emigration is the only way in which we can elevate 
ourselves to a higher plane of true citizenship. * 

This was signed by 168 Negroes. South Carolina had a Charleston 
Colored Western Emigration Society, which endorsed the Nashville 
convention in 1879. 

Finally all the movements culminated in a great convention at 
Nashville, Tenn., May 6-9, 1879. Here were gathered 139 representatives 
from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, 
Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, 
Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and the 
District of Columbia. Many noted Negro leaders were there: a former 
lieutenant-governor of Louisiana, a future bishop, and United States 
paymaster, and such men as Gibbs of Arkansas, Pledger and R. R. 
Wright of Georgia, Council of Alabama, Knox of Indiana, T. W. Hen 
derson of Kansas, Lewis of Louisiana, Lynch of Mississippi, Loudin of 
Ohio, Still of Pennsylvania, Rainey of South Carolina, Burrus arid 
Napier of Tennessee, Cuney of Texas, and Cromwell of the District of 
Columbia. This, the most representative Negro convention ever as 
sembled in the South, said in its address: 

Fifteen years have elapsed since our emancipation, and though we have 
made material advancement as citizens, yet we are forced to admit that ob 
stacles have been constantly thrown in our way to obstruct and retard our 
progress. Our toil is still unrequited, hardly less.under freedom than slavery, 
whereby we are sadly oppressed by poverty and ignorance, and consequently 
prevented from enjoying the blessings of liberty, while we are left to the 
shame and contempt of all mankind. This unfortuate state of affairs is 
because of the intolerant spirit exhibited on the part of the men who control 
the state governments of the South today. Free speech in many localities is 
not tolerated. The lawful exercise of the rights of citizenship is denied when 
majorities must be overcome. Proscription meets us on every hand ; in the 
school-room, in the church that sings praises to that God who made of one 
blood all the nations of the earth ; in places of public amusement, in the jury 
box, and in the local affairs of government we are practically denied the 
rights and privileges of freemen. 

We can not expect to rise to the dignity of true manhood under the system 
of labor and pay as practically carried out in some portions of the South today. 
Wages are low at best, but when paid in scrip having no purchasing power 
beyond the prescribed limits of the landowner, it must appear obviously plain 
that our condition must ever remain the same; but with a fair adjustment 
between capital and labor, we as a race, by our own industry, would soon be 
placed beyond want and in a self-sustaining condition 

Resolved, That it is the sense of this conference that the great current of 
migration which has for the past few mouths taken so many of our people 
from their homes in the South, and which is still carrying hundreds to the 
free and fertile "West, should be encouraged and kept in motion until those 
who remain are accorded every right and privilege guaranteed by the consti 
tution and laws. 

Resolved, That we recommend great care on the part of those who migrate. 

* Negro Exodus from Southern States, Vol. 7, p. 281, 1st part. 

Migration 53 

They should leave home well prepared with certain knowledge of localities to 
which they intend to move ; money enough to pay their passage and enable 
them to begin life in their new homes with prospect of ultimate success.* 

On the Northern side both Negroes and whites organized immigra 
tion aid societies. Some of them simply spent money furnished by 
others. Others were more extensive organizations. In Indianapolis, 
for instance: 

On Wednesday evening, December 3, 1879, a meeting was held in the lecture 
room of the Second Baptist Church to organize a relief society to care for the 
colored emigrants, as we learned that some of them were on their way here 
from North Carolina, and that they would arrive here destitute. After the 
preliminary organization of the meeting, the object of the same being stated, 
on motion it was voted that a society be organized tonight for the purpose of 
helping and caring for those people when they arrive here, similar to and in 
co-operation with the relief society which was organized at the A. M. E. 
Church, November 24. t 

This committee collected $296.85, 

.Two similar societies worked in St. Louis: 

The colored men of this city, who have been active in the organization of 
the above named society to assist the colored immigrants from the South in 
finding local habitation in the rich and growing West, have just perfected that 
organization, with the above named as president, secretary, treasurer and di 
rectors. These names include some of the leading colored men of the place 
and an advisory board, to be composed of some of the most public-spirited and 
benevolent of our citizens, and these are a guaranty to all who know them of 
perfect good faith, integrity and trustworthiness in the distribution of such 
funds as may be contributed to them for the purposes indicated. 

The Colored Refugee Relief Board committee 

Found 2,000 emigrants half clad, without food or means, filling the colored 
churches, halls and houses, and began at once an active canvass for funds, and 
for weeks liberal hands administered to their every want, and boxes of cloth 
ing and baskets of food were given without stint; but still they came upon 
every boat from the lower Mississippi, until the movement assumed stupen 
dous proportions, and the original committee felt the necessity of extending 
their appeal. Already the committee, through solicitations, have issued 50,000 
rations and clothing and transportation for 4,004 persons. 

The second society raised $3,341.42. 

The result of this great movement was thus reported: 

During the first year in Kansas the freedmen entered upon 20,000 acres of 
land and plowed and fitted for grain-growing 3,000 acres. They built 300 cabins 
and dugouts^ and accumulated $30,000. 

In the month of February, 1880, John M. Brown, Esq., general superintend 
ent of the Freedmen s Relief Association, read an interesting report before the 
Association, from which the following extract is taken: 

The great exodus of the colored people from the South began about the first 
of February, 1879. By the first of April 1,300 refugees had gathered around 
Wyandotte, Kans. Many of them were in a suffering condition. It was then 

* Negro Exodus from Southern States. Vol. 8, 2nd part, pp. 244-5. 
f Negro Exodus from the Southern States, Vol. 7, p. 355. 

54 Economic Co-operation Among: Negro Americans 

that the Kansas Relief Association came into existence for the purpose of 
helping the most needy among the refugees from the Southern states. Up to 
date about 60,000 refugees have come to the state of Kansas to live. Nearly 
40,000 of them were in a destitute condition when they arrived, and have been 
helped by our association. We have received to date $68,000 for the relief of 
the refugees. About 5,000 of those who have come to Kansas have gone to 
other states to live, leaving about 55,000 yet in Kansas. About 30,000 of that 
number have settled in the country, some of them on lands of their own or 
rented lands ; others have hired out to the farmers, leaving about 25,000 in and 
around the different cities and towns of Kansas.* 
The census shows the following Negroes in Kansas: 

I860 627 

1870 17,108 

1880 43,107 

1890 49,710 

1900 62,008 

Since 1880 immigration to the North has gone on steadily, but there 
has been no large co-operative movement. 

Part 3. Types of Cooperation 
Section 9. The Church 

The development of the Negro American has been as follows (see 
diagram): The Christian Church did but little to convert the slaves 
from their Obeah worship and primitive religion until the establish 
ment of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts 
in 1701; this society and the rising Methodists and Baptists rapidly 
brought the body of slaves into nominal communion with the Christian 
Church. No sooner, however, did they appear in the Church than dis 
crimination began to be practiced which the free Negroes of the North 
refused to accept. They, therefore, withdrew into the African Metho 
dist and Zion Methodist Churches. The Baptists even among the 
slaves early had their separate churches, and these churches in the 
North began to federate about 1836. In 1871 the Methodist Church, 
South, set aside their colored members into the Colored Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and the other Southern churches drove their mem 
bers into the other colored churches. The remaining Northern denom 
inations retained their Negro members, but organized them for the 
most part into separate congregations. 

Practically, then, the seven-eighths of the whole Negro population 
is included in its own self-sustaining, self-governing church bodies.. 
Nearly all of the other eighth is economically autonomous to a 
very large degree. Consequently a study of economic co-operation 
among Negroes must begin with the Church group. The most compact 
and powerful of the Negro churches is the African Methodist Episcopal 
Church. Its membership has grown as follows: 

Williams, Vol. II, pp. 586-7. 


" v Tnsurrect 

IA our i-pat"! o fl /*- 


TM ira,t i M 

he 7*rc^s 





Sc h o o Is" 

The Church 
A. M. E. Church 




1787. . . 

























The property held is reported as follows: 

No. of 

Valuation of 


Oonfer n s 




$ 2,500.00 
225,000 00 







825,000 00 






5,34 1,889. 00 






9,404,675 00 



* Churches and Parsonages. 
The property of 1903 was divided as follows: 

Total value 

Total churches, 5,321 $8,620,702.51 

Total parsonages, 2,527 783,973 41 

Total schools, 25 638,000.00 

Grand total valuation of property $10,042,675.92 

The total income has been as follows: 


Av g eper 

1822. . . 

$ 1,000 00 

$ 66 60 


1 126 00 

41 70 





583 557 79 

204 25 


682 421 00 

141 l l > 

1S100. . 

935,425 58 

204 00 




Adding in traveling expenses, we have for the last four-year period 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Ministerial Support 
Total support and traveling expenses per year $1,046,858.00, divided as follows! 

Per year Quadrennium 
$ 26,000.00 $ 104,00. UO 


(General officers . 
Bishops widows 
Presiding elders 


3,5521 ,960. 00 

Grand totals. $ 1,046,858.00 $ 4,187,482.00 

Total amounts of money raised for all purposes other than reported above isi 

Per year 

Per quadrennium. 

.$ 2,632,613.06 
. 10,580,452.24 

General Fund ("Dollar Money") 

(Raised by a tax of $1.00 per member.) 













Grand total $2,053,879,52 

The dollar money, or general fund, is divided as follows: 
Forty-six per cent to the financial secretary, Washington, D.C. 
Ten per cent to the secretary of Church Extension, Philadelphia, Pa. 
Eight per cent to the secretary of Education, Kittrell, N. C. 
Thirty-six per cent retained by each Annual Conference and used for local 
purposes. * 

Home and Foreign Missionary Department 


Received from 
dollar money 




$ 5,425.155 

"$ 27.91&56 

$ 5,425.65 


$ 771,505.80 


The African Methodists had but a few posts in slave territory outside of 
Maryland and Delaware. William Paul Quinn, the pioneer of the West, 
blazed a path from Pittsburg to St. Louis, including Louisville, Ky. Good, 
substantial buildings were erected on slave territory at St. Louis, Louisville 
and New Orleans, La., in the early 50 s. 

In the wake of the army the banner of African Methodism was firmly 
planted under the leadership of Chaplains Turner and Hunter in the East and 
Southeast, followed by Carr and others in South Carolina, Bradwell and 
Gaines in Georgia, Pierce and Long in Florida, Handy and John Turner in 
Louisiana, Brook, Murray, Early, Page and Tyler in Kentucky and Tennessee, 
Carter and Jenifer in Arkansas, Rivelo and Stringer in Mississippi, Gardner 

Arnett s Budgett, 1900, pp. 142-4, 172-4. 

The Church 59 

and Bryant in Alabama, Wilhite and Grant in Texas, Ward on the Pacific 
coast, Wilkerson in Kansas and the Rocky Mountains, Dove and Embry in 
Missouri, Jameson in Virginia, Hunter and others in North Carolina. All 
this will give some idea of the spirit, and the territory covered will show the 
scope of their endeavor.* 

This department has thus planted the church throughout this coun 
try, besides establishing 180 missions and 12,000 members in Africa and 
some work in the West Indies: 

2 Conferences. 
9 presiding e 
56 ministers. 

8 preachers 
346 members. 


West Africa 



presiding elders. 

5 elders. 

39 preachers. 


West Indies 



presiding elder. 


15 preachers. 

y elder 

South America 




?rs. 350 members. 
















1880-1884 . 




1888-1892 . ... 








Total business 1836-1903 $ 536,267.03 f 

In a report to the General Conference of 1900 at Columbus, O., Rev. T. W. 
Henderson then the manager, gave the following valuation of the property : 

Recorder and Review $ 25,000.00 

Building and grounds 17,500.00 

Steam and power plant 1,800.00 

Presses, folders, stitchers, etc . 4,2JO.OO 

Type, plates and fixtures 6,000.00 

Stock 011 hand, etc 6,400.00 

Paper, ink, etc .- 500.00 

Total $ 61,440.00 

This valuation does not include the amounts due for merchandise, printing 
and subscriptions to the Recorder and Review, which would be $5,659.24 more. 
This added to the actual valuation would make the amount $67,099.24. The 
liabilities then were $11,263.60; assets over liabilities $55,835.64. \ 

The history of this department is thus given officially: 
The first book of Discipline was published in 1817 by Richard Allen, in ad 
vance of this action of General Conference, and contained the articles of re 
ligion, government of the church, confession of faith, ritual, etc. A Hymn 
Book, for the use of the church, was compiled and published. Aside from this 
and the publishing of the Conference Minutes, but little was accomplished 

* United Negro, pp. 305-6. T Arnett s Budgett, 1900, p. 139. 

I United Negro, pp. 540-41. 

60 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

until the year 1841, when in the New York Conference a resolution was made 
that a magazine be published monthly; but for the want of proper funds 
oould only be published quarterly. This gave promise of some considerable 
success for nearly eight years. 

In 1848 the General Conference elected Rev. A. R. Green general book stew 
ard and authorized him to purchase a newspaper called the "Mystery," edited 
by Martin R. Delany, and to change its name to the "Christian Herald," also 
to move the Book Concern from Philadelphia to Pittsburg; which he did and 
continued the publication of the paper until the General Conference in 1852. 
The name of the paper was then changed to the " Christian Recorder" 

This paper was looked upon by the slaveholders of the South and pro- 
slavery people of the North as a very dangerous document or sheet, and was 
watched with a critical eye. It could not be circulated in the slave-holding 
states by neither our ministers nor members. Hence its circulation was pro 
scribed until the breaking out of the war in 1860, when through the aid of the 
Christian Commission it did valuable service to the freed men throughout the 
South. It followed the army, went into the hovels of the freedmen and also 
the hospitals, placed in the hands of soldiers, speaking cheer and comfort to 
the law-abiding and liberty-loving slave whose manacles were about to fall 

The Review ami Recorder are still published. 

Church Extension 

The Department of Church Extension of the African Methodist Episcopal 
Church was organized in 1892 by the Annual Conference at Philadelphia. The 
revenue coming into this society consists principally of savings from funds 
that were hitherto collected and spent without definite purpose. In 1872 the 
General Conference adopted what is known as the Dollar Money law. It was 
the intention that one dollar from or for each member of the church should 
cover all the expenses of the general connection for missionary and educa 
tional work, the support of bishops, general officers, superannuated preachers, 
and help the Conferences to help the widows of deceased preachers, and assist 
ing in making up the support of pastors on poor fields. 

In one year we have secured through the efforts of our resident bishop 
$50,MH) of church property in South Africa alone, while word from one of our 
presiding elders in Liberia to the secretary of Church Extension is, " We are 
pushing into the interior; stand by us." 

The constitution provided the revenues without extra taxation on the gen 
eral church, as follows : 

Ten per cent of the Dollar Money ; fifty per cent of the Children s Day ; ad 
mission fees and annual dues to the Women s Department of Church Exten 
sion : special collections, gifts and bequests, etc. 

We herewith submit the result of our savings for ten years, or the moneys 
handled by this department. 

Fifty per cent of Children s Day to April 23, 1902 ..$ 29,862.32 

Ten per cent of Dollar Money to April 23, 1902 89,122.58 

Loans returned to the Department 14,883.92 

Interest returned to the Department 3,817.90 

Grand total $ 145,728.61 

We have disbursed In loans to churches 97,751.71 

Have donated to needy churches 12,119.79 

Total . $109,871.50 

Arnett s Budgett, 1900, p. 138. 


.: - .-.:. ::.. . ^. : ----_;.- :; -. 

CP - M 

--..-- ..... 7* 

-.rrfcsr i :<::*: rr -ri^, *rb<.:.I* awl Dep^cmenif beipad Irr tM* 


" -... 

--,----. . . . 

f j^*;r .- j : .-:, ,- $ 

" -* -. -. 


. . 

-r- - - 

.ti:c;i f L.-* 

62 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Educational Department* 

Amount of Money for Education by A. M. E. Church 

1847-1903, Union Seminary $ 20,000.00 

1863-1908, Wllberforce University 440,164.77 

1891-1903, Payne Seminary 44,800.00 

Grand total for Wllberforce plant. . . . $ 504,964.77 

1891-1903, connectlonal money $1,021,558.49 

1900-1904, by endowment 48,000.00 

1900-1904, by 8 per cent 40,000.00 

Grand total connectlonal $1,109,558.49 

Grand total for education 1,614,523.26 

Some figures follow showing the total amounts raised for the church in cer 
tain years. 

The receipts of the church in 1876 were as follows: 

Amount of contingent money raised $ 2,976.85 

Amount raised for the support of pastors 201,984.06 

Amount raised for the support of presiding elders 23,896.66 

Amount of Dollar Money for general purposes, etc 28,009.97 

Amount raised to support Sunday Schools for the year 1876 . 17,415.33 

Amount raised for the missionary society 3,782.72 

Amount raised in one year for building churches 169,558.60 

Total amount raised for all purposes $ 447,624.19 

The receipts of four departments of the church, 1880-1884, were: 

Financial department $ 179,854.30 

Publication department 63,139.60 

Missionary department 34,500.00 

Sunday school department 2,341.61 

Total $ 279,885.56 

The total income of the church in this same period, 1880-1884, was : 

General departments $ 279,885.56 

Support of pastors 1,611,189.01 

Presiding elders support 177,275.26 

All other purposes 1,718,129.89 

Grand total $3,786,429.72 

The total income for the one year, 1884, was: 

Contingent money $ 4,634.09 

Presiding eldership 50,580.22 

Pastors support 393,789.23 

Church extension 144,669.91 

Missionary 5,358.04 

Bishops traveling expenses ] ,002.51 

Pastors traveling expenses 16,899.78 

Presiding elders traveling expenses 6,059.09 

Educational money 3,139.48 

Haytian mission 942.90 

Charity 7,228.40 

Incidental expenses of the trustees 180,446.25 

Church debts 33,962.93 

Delegate money 2,159.01 

Dollar Money 49,400.00 

Sunday school money 27,400.00 

Total $ 814,647.79 

The income for 1900 is thus reckoned up by the church statistician 

For the year $1,777,948.20 

End month 148,162.35 

End day 4,938.74 

End hour 289.18 

End minute 48.18 

End second 80 

For details see Schools infra. 

The Church 


Financial Support of Ministry, 1900 

Presiding elders support, per annum $ 145,735.37 

Ministers support, per annum. 

Traveling expenses, per annum 

Bishops support, per annum 

General officers support, per annum 

Grand total for ministerial support for one year. 

5,400.00 31,400.00 


The next largest Negro church is that of the 


The growth in numbers of this sect is not accurately known. They 
are primarily small disassociated groups of worshippers whose economic 
activities were small, except in large cities, until the individual groups 
united into associations. The first of these associations was formed in 
Ohio in 1836, followed by another in Illinois in 1838. The growth of 
these associated Baptists has been as follows: 

Negro Baptist 




1850 .. 













Value of Property 



1W2. . . 

.$ 11,271,651 


. 12,196,130 

. 14,376,372 

Total Income 

Contributions for salaries and expenses $ 688,856.14 

Contributions for missions 38,051.04 

Contributions for education 14,958.07 

Contributions for miscellaneous 79,260.46 

Total contributions reported $ 821,125.71 


Total raised 1,816,442.72 


Church expenses 3,090,190.71 

Sunday school expenses 107,054.00 

State missions 9,954.00 

Foreign missions 8,725.00 

Home missions and publications 81,658.40 

Education 127,941.00 

Total $3,425,523.11 

The most remarkable department of the Baptist Church is the 

National Baptist Publication Board 

This organization is so unique that a careful history is necessary. 
The proposition to establish a publishing house was adopted at the 
Savannah Convention in 1893. 

In 1894 at Montgomery, Ala., the question was again discussed, but many 
obstacles were found in the way. Rev. R. H. Boyd of San Antonio, Texas, 

64 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

offered a set of resolutions, setting forth that this publishing committee, board, 
or concern should proceed at once to the publication of Sunday School litera 
ture, consisting of the International Lessons in either newspaper, magazine 
or pamphlet form for the benefit of their own schools, which was adopted. 

On the 15th of December, 1896, Rev. R. H. Boyd, secretary and manager, 
opened his office in Nashville, Tenn., and secured copies of the electrotype 
plates from the Sunday Schools of the Southern Baptist Convention and em 
ployed the Brandon- Printing Company, the University Printing Press of 
Nashville, Term., to publish for him ten thousand copies of the Advanced 
Quarterly, ten thousand Intermediate Quarterlies, ten thousand Primary 
Quarterlies and two thousand copies of the Teachers Monthly, thus launching 
the long-talked of Negro Publishing Concern. At the next meeting of the 
National Baptist Convention in Boston, Mass., Secretary Boyd reported having 
sent out during the year 700,000 copies of the periodicals, together with song 
books, Bibles and other religious literature. * 

The Publishing Board is an incorporated publishing institution, incorpora 
ted in 1898, under the special provision granted by the legislature of Tennessee, 
with headquarters at Nashville, domiciled in the Publishing House, 523 Second 
avenue, North, or on the corner of Second avenue and Locust street. This 
Publishing Board owns or holds in trust for the National Baptist Convention 
three lots with four brick buildings thereon. Besides this it rents or leases 
two other brick buildings. These make up the domicile of the Publishing 
Board, and is known as the National Baptist Publishing House. 

All the work of the Publishing Board is operated under the supervision of a 
general secretary, assisted by a local Board of management, consisting of nine 
members. These nine members hold monthly meetings, the second Tuesday 
in each month. In these meetings they hear and pass upon the reports, rec 
ommendations, etc., of the general secretary, and up to this time make quar 
terly reports to the Executive Committee of the Home Mission Board located 
at Little Rock, Ark. In this way the Home Mission Board has been a kind of 
clearing house through which this local committee of management, better 
known and styled as Board of Directors of the National Baptist Publishing 
Board, could clear itself and make its reports. 
The clerical work of the Publishing Board is operated in three divisions: 

First The Corresponding Department. This part of the clerical work con 
sists of the work of reading and answering all letters, sending out general in 
formation to Sunday schools, churches and missionaries. In order to do this 
work with any degree of success, it requires the greater part of the time of the 
general secretary, his chief clerk and a corps of six stenographers. A great 
deal of this correspondence arises from the fact that the Baptists throughout 
the country have learned to make the National Baptist Publishing Board a 
bureau of information ; hence they ask and expect answers to great and grave 
questions and issues that arise among our denomination from time to time. 

Second The Bookkeeping and Counting Department. This department 
consists of a bookkeeper and from four to live assistants, according to the 
accumulation of work. In this department an accurate account must be kept, 
first, of the invoices of all material purchased, the time of the clerks and em 
ployees who earn salaries here, receipts and disbursements of all moneys 
coining into the institution for job work done for others, receipts from sales, 
donations, gifts and bequests and other receipts or disbursements. 

Third Shipping and Mailing Department. This department includes the 

* United Negro, p. 528. 

The Church 65 

shipping by freight or express and by mail. This labor is performed under 
the supervision of a chief mailing and shipping clerk with a corps of from 
twelve to fifteen assistant clerks. 

The Editorial Department 

The editorial department consists of one editorial secretary and his stenog 
rapher, five associate editors and thirty-six contributors. The editorial secre 
tary has the general oversight of all matter which goes tomake up the various 
periodicals that are published by the institution, lays out the work to be per 
formed by his associate editors, names the subjects upon which the thirty-six 
contributors are to prepare special articles. 

The Printing or Manufacturing: Department of the Publishing: Board 

The National Baptist Publishing Board is a threefold institution. It is a 
publishing, printing and missionary institution; and, therefore, acts in a 
threefold capacity. We consider that the first and greatest work of the Na 
tional Baptist Publishing Board is its missionary, Sunday school and col- 
porterage work. All other labors or efforts put forth by the Board are simply 
the means to the end of doing missionary work. 

The Printing or Manufacturing Department is divided into three divisions, 
and is operated under the supervision of one general foreman assisted by three 
under foremen. 

The first is known as the Composing Department. In this department all 
type is set, proof is read, pages are made up, stereotyping, and engraving is 
done ; also all imposing or making up forms ready for the press room are 
completed here. 

2. The Press Department. We have seven machines in this department; 
some of these cost us in the neighborhood of $4,000 to $5,000. 

3. The Bindery Department. Negro bookbinders were a nonentity nine 
years ago when the Publishing Board began its operations in binding books. 
We made inquiries from Maine to California, and from the Lakes to the Gulf, 
but failed to find one all-round Negro bookbinder. The white bookbinding 
establishments persistently refused to take Negro boys as bookbinding ap 
prentices, and our schools of technology have failed to produce any. Hence 
there was nothing left for us to do but to undertake the tedious and expensive 
task of manufacturing bookbinders before we could manufacture books by 
Negro artisans. 

After ten years of patient, arduous and expensive toil, we boast of being 
prepared to turn out of our bookbindery, with our bookbinding machinery 
and bookbinding Negro artisans, well bound books that will take a place of 
merit among the work of the best book publishers of the country. This de 
partment turns out all grades of work from a common, wire-stitched, paper 
covered pamphlet to a fine machine-sewed, morocco covered, gilt edged, gold 
embossed volume of any size from a vest pocket book to a fifteen hundred 
page folio book. 

In giving these three divisions of the manufacturing department, it is nec 
essary here to say that besides the above named skilled laborers, the Publish 
ing Board is required to operate both a steam and electric plant, and must, 
therefore, keep on hand a corps of firemen, engineers, machinists and elec 

This institution has been able in the last ten years to husband and organize 
all these skilled laborers, composed exclusively of Negro artisans, into a har 
monious, well drilled working force. 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

The Publishing Department of the National Baptist Publishing Board 

This institution is not only a manufacturing and printing plant, but is also 
a publishing institution. It publishes millions of periodicals, tracts, pamph 
lets, booklets and books from the pens of the ablest and best and most noted 
Negro Baptist authors and editors the country has produced. It is scattering 
them broadcast throughout the length and breadth of the American continent, 
in the islands, and across the great waters, in the dark continent of Africa, 
Asia and Europe. 

We are supplying more than 15,000 Negro Baptist Sunday schools with their 
literature, and nearly, if not quite, a million of young and old Negro Baptists 
are reading from the pens and press of Negro Baptists. 

To give some idea of the circulation of our religious literature we present 
the following figures of our Sunday school periodicals: 


this year 


over last 

Teacher (monthly) 
Senior Quarterly 
Advanced Quarterly 
Intermediate Quarterly 
Primary Quarterly 
Lesson Leaflets, etc 
Lesson Cards ( weekly ) 
Bible Picture Lesson Weekly 
Baptist Sunday School Catechisms . . 
Child Bible Question Books 
National Baptist Kasy Lesson Primers 

286 300 



250 000 



36 300 

National Baptist Concert Quarterly 




Total ; 




The Book and Tract Department 

Besides the circulation of these 9,000,000 copies of Sunday school periodicals 
annually among the 15,000 Negro Baptist Sunday schools, we send out 170,617 re 
ligious circulars, 178,559 religious tracts and booklets, the $3,766.42 worth of books 
and Bibles distributed free of charge by missionaries, the $5,937.88 worth of books 
and Bibles distributed by us, through the sixty -six field men that this institu 
tion is employing. Take a glance at the dividends arising from the sale of 
thousands of song books, Bibles and other standard religious books that are 
being sold and distributed by the thousands throughout the length and 
breadth of this country, and some faint idea can be had of the magnitude of 
the work that is being performed by this National Baptist Publishing Board, 
starting ten years ago from nothing nothing but faith in God and the justice 
of its cause, going forth as a great giant strengthened with new wine to battle 
against the opposition that is hurled against the Bible, the Christian religion 
aud the true Baptist doctrine. 

Letters received and answered during the first ten years: 




J 3,570 











The Church 


Money collected and expended for the National Baptist Publishing Board in 
the last ten years and reported to the Convention : 






$ 4,864.29 
67 945.46 

$ 1,000.00 
19 824 49 

$ 5,864.29 
87 769 95 


87,196 04 

as 227 76 






Total . 

$ 537,498.34 

$ 173,873.08 

$ 711,871.42 

Receipts and Disbursements 

September 1, 1905, to August 31, 1906. 

Receipts by Months 
September 1, 1905, balance on hand 

September, 1905 ...$ 

October, 1905 

November, 1905 

December, 1905 

January, 1906 

February, 1906 

March, 1906 

April, 1906 

May, 1906 

June, 1906. . . 

July, 1906 

August, 1906 

Grand total from Business Department ...................... 

Brought forward from Missionary report on page 14 ............... 

Grand total from receipts and balance on hand ............ 


1. For salary, wages, printing material and other incidental 

expenses in this department from September 1, 1905, to 
August 31, 1906 ................................................. $ 

2. For merchandise, special material, freight and other in 

cidental expenses of this department from September 1, 
1905, to August 31, 1906 ...................................... 

3. Stamps, postage, telegrams, telephone and other incidental 

expenses from September 1, 1905, to August 31, 1906 ......... 

4. For editorial work, advertising, traveling and other inci 

dental expenses of this department from September 1, 
1905, to August 31, 1906 ......................................... 

5. On real estate notes, rents, legal advice, interest and other 

incidental expenses of this department from September 
1, 1905, to August 31, 1906 ......................................... 

6. Machinery, repairs, insurance and other incidentals from 

September 1, 1905, to August 31, 1906 ........................... 

7. Coal, fuel, electricity, gas, ice, horse feed, water tax and 

other incidentals from September 1, 1905, to August 31, 1906. 
To balance on hand ................................................. 

$ 3,492 81 


Brought forward from Missionary disbursements 
Grand total. . . 

11,488 87 
6,752 84 
3,137 69 

8,110 61 
9,250 74 
3,121 46 

16,217 66 

8,367 27 
4,148 08 

21,379 50 

20,482 81 

28,733 01 

7,873 29 

2,829 27 28,402 55 

$ 102,490 68 
49,621 90 

$ 152,112 58 

54,666 55 

23,445 33 
6,530 98 

2,227 14 

6,140 69 
2,860 44 

2,960 29 
8,650 26 

$ 102,45*0 68 
49,621 90 

$ 152,112 58 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 



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Lesson Leaflet, a 2-pi 
folio, weekly 

Child s Gem, 4-pa 

Picture Lesson Cards? 
page, weekly. . 

Senior Quarterly, 

Advanced Quarterly 

Intermediate Quarte 
82 pages 

Primary Quarterly, 

Concert Quarterly, 

Bible Lesson Picture 





Child s Bible Questio 

Baptist Sunday Sen 


The Church 69 

Home Mission Department, 1906 

Number of missionaries, colporters, Sunday school and Bible 

workers working in co-operation with our Board during year 66 

Number of churches helped to organize 39 

New Sunday schools organized 63 

Missionary societies formed or organized 157 

Number of Conventions, Associations and other State and Dis 
trict meetings attended 780 

Missionary and Bible Conferences held 990 

Letters and postal cards written 17,617 

Number of religious tracts, pamphlets and booklets distributed. . 178,559 

Miles traveled to perform this labor 277,084 

Money collected and -applied to missionary w r ork in communities 

where collected $ 14,998 19 

Value of tracts, pamphlets and booklets distributed 1,632 89 

Value of Bibles and books that were donated by missionaries to 

needy individuals and communities 1,380 88 

Money collected by missionaries and colporters and applied to 

their salaries 6,844 61 

Money donated by Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist 

Convention on salaries of missionaries 8,603 83 

Value of Bibles and books donated by the Publishing Board and 

applied to missionary operations 3,766 42 

Money collected by missionaries and applied to their traveling 

expenses 5,937 58 

Value of Bibles, books, booklets, etc., sent to missionaries and 

colporters to be sold and applied to their salaries 4,200 00 

Salaries of general female missionaries working under the Wo 
man s Auxiliary Board in co-operation with our Board and 
the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention 600 00 

Cash supplement on missionaries salaries 457 50 

Salary of Field Secretary 1,200 00 

Foreign Mission Department 

The Baptists were the first Negro missionaries : 

From Georgia, where he preached the gospel in 1777, during the Revolution, 
George Lisle, a Negro Baptist, went to Jamaica in 1783. He preached the gos 
pel to his own race of people at the race course and in his own hired house or 
room. He gathered a church of four and supported himself by his own labor. 
He spread the gospel among bond and free on neighboring plantations and to 
distant parts of the island, personally and by his own converts, so that in 
about seven years he had baptized 500 believers. 

Rev. Lot Carey, who was a ,slave in Richmond, Va., purchased his freedom 
in 1813, raised $700 for missions in Africa, and was the first missionary from 
America to Africa. From the days of Lisle and Carey the Negro Baptists of 
America have been prosecuting missionary work in the West India Islands 
and in Africa. They have four general organizations of their own through 
which they are doing missionary work in this and in other lands, besides 
many Negro churches contribute to both Home and Foreign Missions through 
the missionary organizations of their white Baptist brethren.* 

The figures of Negro Baptist mission work for 1907 were: 

Summary by Months 


$ 1,853 50 
634 10 


8,014 77 
553 37 


634 74 
1,589 78 
436 79 

April . . 

4,197 69 
1,671 73 


736 26 


1,151 33 


2,273 60 


$ 18,727 96 

De Baptiste, 1896. 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Baptist Property 

South Africa 

One hundred acres of land, Grand Cape Mound $ 60000 

Home for Dr. Bouey , worth 300 00 

Other buildings reported by him. 600 00 

Chapel organ 75 00 

Lot, foundation and church furnishings in Cape Town 1,325 00 

Middledrift church building 500 00 

Mission home for Rev. Buchanan 300 00 

School houses reported by him : . 600 00 

Two bells 50 00 

Queenstowii school house, worth 2,000 00 

One organ 4000 

One bell 2500 

Two typewriters . 65 00 

Desks, carpenter tools and books 150 00 

Boksburg, Transvaal, church building . 500 00 

Central Africa 

Ninety-three acres of land valued at 300 00 

Substantial brick church house 1,200 00 

Two four-room houses for missionaries 1,200 00 

Organ 40 00 

Holdings under Dr. Majola Agbebi reach quite 3,000 00 

South America 

Georgetown Bethel Baptist Church 1,800 00 

Georgetown Nazareth Baptist Church, in course of erection, on which we 

have paid about 200 00 

Organs and bells worth 150 00 

West Indies 

Mission House in St. John s, Barbados 150 00 

We give here only what is in the name of the Board. 


To Edwards Bros., Liverpool, England 600 00 

To Mayer & Tinsley, Kentucky 62 20 

To Hay ti Fund 145 35 

Messrs. E. 8. Darrell & Co., New York, for shipping goods to missionaries. . 11 47 
African Lakes Corporation, Glasgow, Scotland, to draft drawn by L. N. 

Cheeh 1,800 00 


$ 2,619 02 

The cash account of a single Baptist church is of interest: 

The Mt. Olive Baptist, Nashville, Tenn., 1902 

Members contributing specified sums during the year: 

$4 50 

3 50 

3 06 

3 00 

2 75 

2 50 

2 25 

2 10 

2 00 

1 HO 

1 75. . . 

. 1 
. 1 
. 1 
. 16 
. 28 
. 19 
. 1 
. 32 
. 2 
. 31 

{ 4 50 

8 50 

3 06 

318 00 

44 00 

70 00 

42 75 

2 10 
64 00 

3 60 
54 25 

$1 56 







1 05 

1 00 

Under $1.00. 

Total . . 

. 1 
. 46 
. 1 
. 1 
. 34 
. 1 
. 1 
. 1 
. 34 

$ 1 56 

69 CX) 

1 35 

1 30 

42 50 

1 15 

I 10 

1 05 

34 00 

68 00 

830 77 

Received from members 

Received from regular Sunday collections. 

Received from Sunday school 

Received from Woman s Mission Society. . 

Received from Young People s Society 


Total . . 

830 77 
1,976 89 

107 55 
94 47 
40 71 
36 24 

3,086 63 

The Church 71 

Paid pastor $ 1,029 62 

Paid Landis Banking Company 280 00 

Paid j ani tors 150 00 

Paid Sunday School Department 106 55 

Paid Missionary Department 94 47 

Paid B. Y. P. U 40 71 

Paid poor saints 50 55 

Paid insurance 240 00 

Paid Phillips & Buttorft* 100 00 

Paid Ryan & Shea 79 00 

Paid incidentals, repairs, coal, printing, conventions, missions, 

traveling ministers, sick members and appliances 855 81 

Total paid out $ 3,026 61 

Balance on hand $ 60 02 

The next largest church is that of the Zion Methodists. This church 
started in New York, withdrawing gradually from the white church, 
leaning for a time toward the African Methodists of Philadelphia, but 
at last becoming fully independent and autonomous in 1822. 

Zlon Methodists 

The growth of the Zion Methodists has been as follows: 













Property Income 

. 1821 $ 618,100.00 $11,966.02 

1900 4,865,372.00 

1905 5,094,000,00 

The income of this church is not easy to estimate. Some of its own 
estimates make the annual income over $2,000,000, but this is an exag 

The known items are: 

1896-1900 Four Years 

Bishops $ 64,878.78 

Education 11,421.53 

General officers 5,077.07 

Publication 5,114.37 

Miscellaneous 6,168.14 

Four years $ 92,159.91 

One year 28,014,97 

To this must be added the following estimates: 

Pastors salaries $ 500,000.00 

Building 400,000.00 

Current expenses 153,700.00 

General fund 23,014.97 

Total $ 986,714.97 

It seems safe to say that the church raises not less than a million a year. Missions are maintained in Africa, the West Indies and 
Canada, and a report on publishing says: 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

We publish and send out The Star of Zion to about 5,000 annual subscribers, 
Rev. John W. Smith, editor. We publish and send out our own Sunday school 
literature to about 4,000 Sunday schools. The literature published and sent 
out from the Publication House each quarter consists of Teachers Journals, 
Scholars Senior Quarterly, Scholars Intermediate Junior Quarterly, Picture 
Lesson Cards for our little people, Historical Catechism and Commandment 
Cards. We publish and send out the A. M. E. Zion Quarterly Review to about 
1,000 subscribers. * 

In 1866 the Methodist Church South erected its colored members into 
a separate and independent church called the Colored Methodist Epis 
copal Church: 

The Colored Methodists 

This church, started in 1866, has grown as follows: 








Its property was reported in 1906 as $1,715,566. Its general church 
income was $145,707 for the four years, 1898-1902. It probably raised at 
least $350,000 a year in all. 

The Methodists 

(Colored Conferences) 




Value of churches 
Money raised 

$ 4,566,953 

In 1906 the membership had grown to 327,000. 

Other Denominations 
The following figures for other denominations are given by Vass: 



Value of 

Free Will 



$ 13,300 


Old Two Seed 
A U M. E 

Congregational Methodist 
U. A. M. E 
M. E. Protestant 

Cum berland 

Protestant Episcopal 


Disciples of Christ : 
Evangelist Missionary 
Reformed Episcopal 

Catholics, Roman 



$ 2,519,313 

United Negro, p. 532. 



The total income of these churches is unknown, but maybe estimated 
at not less than $200,000 a year. 

We may make, therefore, the following table which is based for the 
most part on reliable data, but partially on estimate : 



Income per Yr. 

A. M. E 

$ 11,975,256 

$ 1,777,948 20 
3,425,523 11 

O. M. E . . . 


986,714 97 
350,000 (X) 

M. E 


717,400 00* 

200,000 00* 


$ 40,245,258 

$ 7,457,586 28 

* Raised by the Negroes themselves. 

One other religious organization should be mentioned the Young 
Men s Christian Association. There are now three International Secre 
taries for this work, 67 college associations and 34 city associations. 
These associations hold property worth at least $250,000. 

Section 10. Schools 

Out of the churches sprang two different lines of economic co-opera 
tion : 

1. Schools. 

2. Burial societies. 

From the burial societies developed sickness and death insurance, on 
the one hand, and cemeteries, homes and orphanages, on the other. 
From the insurance societies came banks and co-operative business. 
We will first notice the schools, for they stood back of the larger eco 
nomic development by means of the burial society. 

Church contributions to schools are estimated by Vass as follows: 







Baptist . . 
A. M. E 
A. M. E. Zion 





$ 00,000 

$ 157,324 





$ 1,550,000 

$ 332,824 

The early interest of the Negroes in education and their willingness 
to work and pay for it is attested to in many ways. In Philadelphia in 
1796 we have the following minutes: 

To the Teachers of the African School for Free Instruction of the Black 
People : We, the Trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, called 
Bethel, . . . being convened on matters of importance relative to the edu 
cation of the people of color, are desirous of a First Day school being held in 
our meeting house in such manner, that it shall not interfere with the time of 
our meeting or worship. There has been a school kept in said meeting house 
last summer which was orderly attended by about sixty scholars, under the 
care of Thomas Miller, deceased, arid having seen the good effects of the said 

74 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

school, are anxious to have a permanent school kept in the said house so long 
as it may be convenient or agreeable. Signed by order of the Board of Trus 
tees, Richard Allen, March, 1796. 

We, the overseers and teachers of the First Day school, being present, it was 
then concluded that a night school be opened for the further utility of the 
people of color, and a solemnity attending, it was unanimously agreed that an 
orderly night school should commence in the next month, beginning at the 
sixth hour on the first, or second day in the said month. And it is fully agreed 
that no disorderly person be admitted into said school.* 

In the city of Washington it was announced in 1818 that 

"A School," 

Founded by an association of free people of color of the city of Washington? 
called the Resolute Beneficial Society, situated near the Eastern Public 
School and the dwelling of Mrs. Tenwick, is now open for the reception of 
children of free people of color and others, that ladies or gentlemen may think 
proper to send to be instructed in reading, writing, arithmetic, English gram 
mar or other branches of education apposite to their capacities, by a steady, 
active and experienced teacher, whose attention is wholly devoted to the pur 
poses described. It is presumed that free colored families will embrace the 
advantages thus presented to them, either by subscribing to the funds of the 
society or by sending their children to the school. An improvement of the 
intellect and morals of colored youth being the object of this institution, the 
patronage of benevolent ladies and gentlemen, by donation or subscription, is 
humbly solicited in aid of the fund, the demands thereon being heavy and the 
means at present much too limited. For the satisfaction of the public, the 
constitution and articles of association are printed and published, and to avoid 
disagreeable occurrences no writings are to be done by the teacher for a slave, 
neither directly nor indirectly, to serve the purpose of a slave on any account 
whatever. Further particulars may be known by applying to any of the 
undersigned officers. 

"WILLIAM COSTIN, President. 

"GEORGE HICKS, Vice-President. 

"JAMES HARRIS, Secretary. 

"GEORGE BELL, Treasurer. 


"FRED LEWIS, Chairman of the Committee. 

"ISAAC JOHNSON, ) Committee f 

"SciPio BEENS, j ^ 

In Ohio a hard fight was made for schools. In earlier times a few 
Negroes attended the public schools: 

Whatever privileges they may have enjoyed in the schools were cut off in 
1829 by a law passed that year that " the attendance of black or mulatto per 
sons be specifically prohibited, but all taxes assessed upon the property of 
colored persons for school purposes should be appropriated to their instruction 
and for no other purpose." The prohibition was vigorously enforced, but the 
second clause was practically a dead letter. 

In Cincinnati, 

As early as 1820 a few earnest colored men, desiring to give their children 
the benefit of a school, raised by subscription a small sum of money, hired a 

* Arnett s Budgett, 1904, p. 95. 

i Williams, Vol. II, p. 182. Quoted from National Intelligencer (D. C.), Aug. 29, 1818. 

Schools 75 

teacher, rented a room and opened a school ; but with such uncertain and lim 
ited funds it was possible to continue the school for only a few weeks, and it 
was finally closed altogether. This experiment was continued from time to 
time during the next ten years in Cincinnati. In September, 1832, a small 
Sunday school was gathered, which in three years numbered 125 scholars. In 
their zeal for improvement, a lyceum also was organized, where three times a 
week practical talks were given on different literary and scientific subjects, 
and often an attendance of 300 would gather for instruction. A circulating 
library of 100 volumes was also collected, but owing to the inability of so 
many to read and write, it was of little use save for its value as an inspiration. 
In March, 1832 an effort was again made for a school. A suitable room was 
rented from a colored man and a teacher secured. The clamor of the adults to 
gain admittance became so great that night schools were opened for two even 
ings a week, the number of teachers necessary being obtained from Lane 
Theological Seminary from among the young men preparing for the ministry. 
This school soon assumed such proportions that three additional schools were 
demanded and organized, one exclusively for girls, where instruction in sew 
ing was made especially prominent. 

The schools in Cincinnati continued to flourish, and the Negro population in 
the state increased till many other schools were established. Notwithstand 
ing the discouraging circumstances which were met we find that in 1838 there 
were colored schools and churches in the counties of Columbiana, Logan, 
Clark, Guernsey, Jefferson, Highland, Brown, Dark, Shelby, Green, Miami, 
Hamilton, Warren, Gallia, Ross and, Muskingum. At the capital of the state 
there were two churches and two schools supported by the colored people. 

In the northern section the first school of which I find any record was estab 
lished in Cleveland in 1832, by John Malvin, who had formerly been a free col 
ored preacher in Virginia, but had come to Cleveland in 1827, where he con 
tinued his work, doing odd jobs to pay his expenses. 

Malvin had learned to read when a boy in Virginia, and he at once tried to 
interest the few colored families in Cleveland to provide some means for the 
education of their children. A subscription guaranteeing $20 per month was 
raised for a teacher s salary, and the school was opened in 1832. Three years 
later, Malvin, who had proved himself an indefatigable worker, was instru 
mental in securing a convention at Columbus of the colored people of the 
state to devise some way of increasing the means to educate their people. The 
outcome of the convention was the organization of the School Fund Society, 
whose object was the establishment and maintenance of colored schools. 

Under the auspices of this society schools were opened in Cincinnati, Colum 
bus, Springfield and Cleveland, and were maintained for two years. * 

In the southern section of the state the increasing colored population se 
cured an increasing growth in the number and efficiency of the colored 
schools, which were supported largely by themselves, though the outside help 
was far greater in the cities than in country districts. In 1835 Cincinnati ex- j 
pended $1,000 in sustaining colored schools, of which the colored people gave , 
$150, the rest being contributed by their friends. In 1839 the colored people 
paid $889.03, and the self-sacrifice was not as great as in 1835, which showed a 
marked economic as well as intellectual advancement. We must bear in mind 
that few employments but day labor were. open to the colored people in the 
cities at that time, and while in the rural sections the men were mostly small 

"Hlckok, pp. 81-89. 

76 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

farmers, and as a consequence there was a greater degree of independence and 
thrift. Wherever there was a settlement of 100 or more, there we rind a school 
for their children. In a small settlement in Gallia county a school of twenty- 
five scholars was maintained by colored people, who paid the teacher $50 per 
quarter. In 1840 we find colored schools in nearly all the large towns in the 
southern part of the state. * 

A separate school for colored children was established in Boston, in 
1798, and 

was held in the house of a reputable colored man named Primus Hall. The 
teacher was one Elisha Sylvester, whose salary was paid by the parents of the 
children whom he taught. In 1800 sixty-six colored citizens presented a peti 
tion to the school committee of Boston, praying that a school might be estab 
lished for their benefit. A sub-committee to whom the petition had been re 
ferred, reported in favor of granting the prayer, but it was veted down at the 
next town meeting. However the school taught by Mr. Sylvester did not per 
ish. Two young gentlemen from Harvard University, Messrs. Brown and 
Williams, continued the school until 180(3. During this year the colored Bap 
tists built a church edifice in Belknap street, and fitted up the lower room for 
a school for colored children. From the house of Primus Hall the little school 
was moved to its new quarters in the Belknap Street Church. Here it was 
continued until 1835, when a school house was erected and paid for out of a 
fund left for the purpose by Abiel Smith, and was subsequently called " Smith 
School House." The authorities of Boston were induced to give $200 as an 
annual appropriation, and the parents of the children in attendance paid 12% 
cents per week. The school house was dedicated with appropriate exercises, 
Hon. William Minot delivering the dedicatory address. 

The African school in Belknap street was under the control of the school 
committee from 1812 to 1821, and from 1821 was under the charge of a special sub 
committee. Among the teachers was John B. Russworm, from 1821 to 1824, 
who entered Bowdoin College in the latter year and afterward became gov 
ernor of the colony of Cape Palmas in southern Liberia, t 

Some few schools for Negroes existed here and there in the South before the 
war. In the District of Columbia, as already mentioned, no less than fifteen 
different schools were conducted here mainly at the expense of the colored 
people between 1800 and 1861. In Maryland, St. Frances Academy for colored 
girls was founded by the Roman Catholics in 1829. The convent originated 
with the French Dominican refugees, who came to Baltimore during the up 
rising in the West Indies. The sisters were colored. Another school, estab 
lished in 1835, gave instruction to free colored children. In North Carolina 
there were before 1835 several schools maintained by the free Negroes. They 
had usually w r hite teachers. After 1835 the few clandestine schools were 
taught by Negroes. In Charleston, S. C., there was a school for Negroes 
opened in 1744, which lasted some ten years. It was taught by a Negro and 
was for free Negroes only, although some slaves who hired their time man 
aged to send their children there. 

Free Negroes in Georgia used to send children to Charleston for education. 
They returned and opened clandestine schools in Georgia. In Savannah a 
French Negro, Julian Froumontaine, from San Domingo, conducted a free 
Negro school openly from 1819 to 1829, and secretly for sometime after. Schools 
were stopped nearly everywhere.after 1830 and as slavery became more and 
more a commercial venture all attempts at Negro education was given up. I 

* Hlckok, pp. 88-90. f Williams, Vol. II, p, 162. J Negro Common School, p. 21. 

Schools 77 

To the Negro slave, freedom meant schools first of all. Consequently 
schools immediately sprang up a.fter emancipation: 

GEORGIA : In December, 1865, the colored people of Savannah, within a few 
days after the entrance of Sherman s army, opened a number of schools, hav 
ing an enrollment of 500 pupils and contributed $1,000 for the support of teach 
ers. Two of the largest of these were in Bryant s Slave Mart. 

In January, 1866, the Negroes of Georgia organized the Georgia Educational 
Association, whose object was to induce the freedmen to establish and sup 
port schools in their own counties and neighborhoods. 

In 1867, 191 day schools and 45 night schools were reported as existing. Of 
these, 96 were reported either wholly or in part supported by the freedmen, 
who also owned 57 of the school buildings. 

ARKANSAS : After 1865 they established the first free schools that ever were 
in Arkansas. This they did at Little Rock, where, after paying tuition for a 
short time, they formed themselves into an educational association, paid by 
subscription the salaries of teachers, and made the schools free. 

FLORIDA: Among the various agencies engaged in the work of educating 
the freedmen of the South are two, consisting of colored people in the south 
ern states, and known respectively as the African Civilization Society, and 
the Home Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. . . 

Several schools were opened at Tallahassee and other places in Florida short 
ly after the close of the war. 

In 1866 the freedmen erected school houses at their own expense, besides con 
tributing from their scanty means towards the support of teachers. They 
formed "school societies" and co-operated with the Bureau in furnishing school 
lots and erecting buildings. 

KENTUCKY: After the war, the thirty schools which were established, in 
spite of great obstacles, were mainly supported by the freed people themselves. 

NORTH CAROLINA: In 1867 the State Superintendent of Education reported 
that many instances had come under his notice where the teachers of a self- 
supporting school had been sustained until the last cent the freedmen could 
command was exhausted, and where these last had even taxed their credit in 
the coming crop to pay the bills necessary to keep up the school. 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA : The first school in this district, built expressly for 
the education of colored children, was erected by three men who had been 
born and reared as slaves in Maryland and Virginia, George Bell, Nicholas 
Franklin and Moses Liverpool, about the year 1807. 

In 1818 the Bell school house was again taken for educational purposes to 
accommodate an association organized by the leading colored men of the city 
and for the specific purpose of promoting the education of their race. This 
school was established upon the principle of receiving all colored children 
who should come, tuition being exacted only from such as were able to pay. 
It was more nearly a free school than anything hitherto the city. 

This association of free people of color was called the "Resolute Beneficial 
Society." Provisions were made for an evening school on the premises and 
managers of Sunday schools were informed that on Sabbath days the school 
house belonging to this society, if required for the instruction of colored 
youth, would be at their service. 

There was another free school which was called the Columbian Institute, 
which continued for two or three years; established about 1831; it relied 
mainly for support upon subscription, 12^ cents a month only being expected 
from each pupil, and this amount was not compulsory. Mr. Prout was at the 
head of this school. 

78 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

It was in the Smother s school house that they formed their first Sunday 
school, and here they continued their very large Sunday school for several 
years, the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church springing ultimately from 
the organization. John F. Cook succeeded Prout in 1834. 

In 1858 the Smother s house, after the Cook school was removed, was occupied, 
two years by a free Catholic school, supported by the St. Vincent de Paul So 
ciety, a benevolent organization of colored people. The school was broken up 
in 1862 by incendiaries. 

Immediately after the war of 1812 a free colored school was founded by an 
association of free colored people ; it averaged nearly 300 scholars. The asso 
ciation was composed of the most substantial colored people of the city, and 
was maintained with great determination and success for a considerable 

The most elaborate system, perhaps, was that under General Banks in LOU 
ISIANA. It was established in 1863, and soon had a regular Board of Education, 
which laid and collected taxes and supported eventually nearly a hundred 
schools with 10,000 pupils under 162 teachers, t 

In General Howard s first Freedmen s Bureau report, he says: 
Schools were taken in charge by the Bureau, and in some states carried on 
wholly in connection with local efforts by use of a refugees and freed- 
men s fund, which had been collected from various sources. Teachers came 
under the general direction of the assistant commissioners r and protection 
through the department commanders was given to all engaged in the work. % 

The inspector of schools testified : 

PETITION FOR SCHOOLS. As showing the desire for education among the 
freedmen, we give the following fact: When the collection of a general tax 
for colored schools was suspended in Louisiana by military order, the conster 
nation of the colored population was intense. Petitions began to pour in. I 
saw one from the plantations across the river, at least thirty feet in length, 
representing 10,000 Negroes. It was affecting to examine it and note the 
names and marks (X) of such a long list of parents, ignorant themselves, but 
begging that their children might be educated ; promising that from beneath 
their present burdens and out of their extreme poverty, they would pay for it. 

The report of 1868 had these figures : || 

The school report for the last six months in 1868 was as follows : 

Day schools 1,198 

Night schools 228 

Total 1,426 

Tuition paid by freedmen $ 65,819 75 

Expended by Bureau 67,208 48 

Total cost $180,247 44 

Schools sustained wholly by freedmen 469 

Scho ols sustained in part by freedmen 531 

School buildings owned by freedmen 364 

School buildings furnished by Bureau 417 

White teachers 1,031 

Colored teachers 713 

Total enrollment 81,878 

Average attendance 58,790 

Pupils paying tuition 26,139 

* Public Schools in the District of Columbia, Barnard, 1868-70; Schools of the Colored 
Population, 1801-1861. M. B. Goodwin. 

i Negro Common School, p. 22. \ Ibid., p. 23. Ibid., p. 25. [[ Ibid., pp. 28-29. 



The report of the Bureau for 1869 which summed up the work, said : 

The foregoing report shows that not more than one-tenth of the children of 
freedmen are attending school. Their parents are not yet able to defray the 
expenses of education. They are already doing something, probably more in 
proportion to their means, than any other class. During the last year it is 
estimated that they have raised, and expended for the construction of school 
houses and the support of the teachers not less than two hundred thousand 
dollars ($200,000). They have shown a willingness to help, and as they prosper 
and acquire property, they will assume a larger share of the burden, either 
by voluntary contributions or by the payment of taxes for the support of 

The freedmen assist in the support of their schools to the extent of their 
ability. As their condition is improved, their willingness to contribute for 
education, as they always have for religious interests, exhibits itself in the 
largely augmented amount paid for the support of schools. Forty-four thous 
and three hundred and eighty-six pupils paid $106,866.19 for tuition. This is by 
far the largest aggregate sum we have yet had the privilege of reporting; 
while many thousands of dollars were expended for board and salaries of 
teachers, and for construction of school houses, of which we received no re 
port, the actual amount of which would greatly increase the above sum. 

The total schools, attendance and disbursements of the Freedmen s 
Bureau were as follows:* 

Increase of Education 



No. of 


1867 . . . 






Expenditures for Schools 




Freedman s 


The Freed 


$ 123,655 39 
531,345 48 
965,806 67 
924,182 16 
976,853 29 

$ 82,200 00 
65,087 01 
700,000 00 
365,000 00 
360,000 00 

$ 18,500 00 
17,200 00 
360,000 OOf 
190,000 OOf 
200,000 00 i 

$ 224,359 39 
613,632 49 
2,025,896 67 
1,479,182 16 
1,536,853 29 




8 785,700 00 

$ 5,879,924 00 

Finally the Negro carpet bag governments established the public 

Although recent researches have shown in the South some germs of a public 
school system before the war, there can be no reasonable doubt but what com 
mon school instruction in the South, in the modern sense of the term, was 
founded by the Freedmen s Bureau and missionary societies, and that the 
state public school systems were formed mainly by Negro reconstruction 

Negro Common School, pp. 30-32. 

f Estimated by the Bureau officials. 

80 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

governments. The earlier state constitutions of Mississippi "from 1817 to 1865 
contained a declaration that Religion, morality and knowledge being neces 
sary to good governments, the preservation of liberty and the happiness of 
mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. 7 
It was not, however, until 1868 that encouragement was given to any general 
system of public schools meant to embrace the whole youthful population. 
In Alabama the Reconstruction Constitution of 1868 provided that "It shall be 
the duty of the Board of Education to establish throughout the state, in each 
township or other school district which it may have created, one or more 
schools at which all the children of the state between the ages of 5 and 21 
years may attend free of charge." In Mississippi the constitution of 1868 
makes it the duty of the legislature to establish " a uniform system of free 
public schools, by taxation or otherwise, for all children between the ages of 5 
and 21 years." Arkansas in 1868, Florida in 1869, Louisiana in 1868, North Caro 
lina in 1869, South Carolina in 1868 and Virginia in 1870 established school sys 
tems. The constitution of 1868 in Louisiana required the General Assembly to 
establish "at least one free public school in every parish," and that these 
schools should make no "distinction of race, color, or previous condition." 
Georgia s system was not fully established until 1873. * 

As Albion Tourgee said : tc They instituted a public school system in 
a region where public schools had been unknown." 

Today the efforts of Negroes to encourage education take three forms : 

Church schools. 

Aid to private schools. 

Aid to public schools. 

(a) Church Schools. 

The African Methdodist Episcopal Church has the following school 
system : 

The African Methodist Episcopal Church began in 1844 to start schools for 
Negroes. A committee was appointed and founded Union Seminary. Later 
this institution was united with Wilberforce University, which was bought 
by the church from the white Methodist Church. Thus Wilberforce, dating 
from 1856, is the oldest Negro institution in the land. The church has now 
about twenty-five schools in all. They are supported from three sources : 1. 
Tuition, etc., paid by students ; 2. Donations and bequests; 3. Appropriations 
from the general fund of the church. From these sources about $275,000 was 
raised in the four years, 1896-1900; and since 1884, when the General Educa 
tional Department was organized, there has been raised $1,250,000 for education. 
The figures are : 

Schools 25 

Teachers 140 

Average attendance, four years 3,tt93 

Acres of land 1,482 

Buildings 51 

Value of property $ 535.000.00 

Raised and appropriated, 1S9H-1900 . . 270,988.54 
Raised and appropriated, 1884-11(00. . . . 1,140,013.81 

Negro Common School, p. 37. 


African Methodist Episcopal Schools Receipts 1896-1900 < 



















Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce, O. . . 
Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, O 





$ 15,5360 48 
85,923 23 

Morris Brown College. Atlanta, Ga 





35,248 69 

Kittrell College Kittrell N. C 





31,372 46 

Paul Quinn College, Waco, Tex 





28,510 56 

Allen University, Columbia, S. C 





19,365 05 

Western University, Quindan, Kan 
Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Fla 






15,637 53 
12,873 85 

Shorter University, North Little Rock, Ark.... 





11,929 44 

Payne University, Selma, Ala 




5,981 00 

Campbell-Stringer College, Jackson, Mo 




4,272 85 

Wayman Institute, Harrodsburg, Ky 
Turner Normal Institute, Shelbyville, Tenn 







2,618 08 
2,030 36 

Flagler High School, Marion, S. C 




700 00 

Delhi Institute, Delhi, La 




Sisson s High School, South McAlister, I. T. . . . 



322 78 

Blue Creek and Muscogee High School, I. T 

Morsell Institute, Hayti 

Bermuda Institute, Bermuda 

Zion Institute Sierra Leone, Africa 

Eliza Turner School, Monrovia, Africa 

Cape Town Institute, Cape Town, Africa . . 

The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church has five schools: 

Payne College of Augusta, Ga. 
Texas College of Tyler, Texas. 
Lane College of Jackson, Tenn. 
Homer Seminary of Homer, La. 
Haygood Seminary of Washington, Ark. 

The white Methodist Church, South, helps in the support of Payne 

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church had these institutions 
in 1901. (Several schools had not reported when this report was read) :t 


No. of 

No. of 


collected per 

Value of 

Livingstone College 
Clinton Institute 
Lancaster Institute 
Greenville College 
Hannon and Lomax 
Walters Institute 





$ 57,193 05 
3,450 00 
5,0:58 00 
2,705 66 
300 00 
800 00 

$ 117,950 

Mobile Institute 

1,500 00 
530 00 


Money raised by Secretary 

5(58 00 




$ 71,585 21 

$ 134,950 

There were the following additional schools : 
Atkinson College, Madisonville, Ky. 
Palmetto Institute, Union, S. C. 
Edenton Industrial High School, Edenton, X. C. 

Negro Church, pp. 129-30. 

f Ibid., pp. 132-33. 


Economic Co=operation Among Negro Americans 

Lloyd Academy, Elizabeth town, N. C. 

Hemphill High School, Crockett, Ga. 

Pettey Academy, Newburn, N. C. 

Lomax and Rutler Academy, Tampa, Fla. 

Carr Academy, North Carolina. 

Lee Institute, Amite City, La. 

Pettey Institute, Calvert, Texas. 

African Methodist Episcopal Zion High School, Norfolk, Va. 

Perhaps the most extensive educational work is done by the Negro 
Baptists: The Negro Baptists support 107 schools, as follows:* 

List of Institutions by States 





Baptist University 



Normal College 


Eufaula Academy 



Marion Academy 



Opelika High School 



Thomsonville Academy 



Stokes Institute 


Autauga Institute 



Aouchita Academy 



Baptist College 

Little Rock. 


Arkadelphia Academy 



Brinkley Academy 



Magnolia Academy 



Wynne Normal and Industrial Institute . . 


Southeast Baptist Academy 



Fordyce Academy 



Florida Baptist College 


Florida Institute 

Live Oak. 

West Florida Baptist Academy 



Institutional Church School 



Fernandina Bible College 



Americus Institute 



Walker Academy 



Jeruel Academy 



Central City College 



Southern Illinois Polytechnic Institute 



New Livingstone Institute 



Indiana Colored Baptist Institute 


Indian Territory 

Dawes Academy 


Sango Baptist College 



Topeka Industrial Institute 



State University 


Cadiz Theological Institute 



Female High School 



Glasgow Normal Institute 



Western College 



Hopkinsville College 



Eckstein Norton University 

Cane Springs. 


Polytechnic Institute 


London District College 



Baton Rouge Academy 

Baton Rouge. 

Houma Academy : 



Morgan City Academy 

Morgan City. 


Howe Institute 

New Iberia. 


Ope lousas Academy 



Central Louisiana Academy 



Cherryville Academy 



Baptist Academy 

Lake Providence. 

The National Baptist Year Book, 1907. 


List of Institutions by States Continued 








Monroe High School 
Ruston Academy 
Shreveport Academy 
Mansfield Academy 
North Louisiana Industrial High School . 
Thirteenth Dist. Nor. and Col. Institute . . 

Clayton Williams Institute 
Natchez College 



Gloster High School 
Central College 






Meridian High School 
Ministerial Institute 
Nettletoii High School 
Greenville High School 
New Albany High School 
Kosciuskp Industrial College 
Baptist Normal and Industrial School 
Springer Academy 

Western College 

West Point. 
New Albany. 
Friar Point. 
Friar Point. 


North Carolina 

Latta University 



High School 
Shiloh Industrial Institute 
Thomson s Institute 
Addle Norris Institute 
Training School 



Roanoke Institute 
Albemarle Training School. 
Bertie Academy 
New Berne Institute 

Eden ton. 
New Berne. 

South Carolina 



Burgaw Normal Institute 
Colon Training and Industrial School 

Curry School 

Peace Haven Institute 
Friendship Institute 
Morris College 
Seneca Institute 
Charleston Normal and Indus. Institute. . . 

Howe Institute 
Nelson Merrv College . 



Broad River. 
Rock Hill. 

Jefferson Citv. 


Lexington Normal School ..... 

Guadalupe College 
Central Texas Academy 
Houston Academy 
Hearne Academy 
Pine Valley Institute 


Pine Valley. 

West Virginia 

Virginia Seminary and College 
Union Industrial Academy 
Keysville Industrial Institute 
Halifax Institute 
Spiller Academy 

Bluefield Institute 
West Virginia Institute Farm 

Port Conway. 

Kanawha county. 


Hope Institute. ". 
Rick s Institute 
Jordan s Industrial School 
Miss De Laney s School 
Queenstown Institute . . 

Lagos, W. Africa. 
Cape Mount. 
Blantyre,W. C. A. 
South Africa. 

Total number of schools. 

107 | Valuation of property 

$ (500,000 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

The income, valuation and enrollment of the Negro Baptist schools 
areas follows; these schools, except the ones starred, are supported 
almost entirely by Negroes; the full names are given in the preceding 

in all de 



Alabama Baptist 


" 83 " 

$ 00,000 

$ 16,000 77 
"l ,250 OO 

Baptist N. and I 



1,400 00 
3,700 00 

Baptist Institute 
Baton Rouge 



3,725 00 

Bertie Academy 



620 00 
2,850 25 




950 00 





2,150 00 

2,500 00 

Cen. C. College 
Cen M. (College 




4,000 00 
2,500 00 

Oen. T. Academy 
Cen Louisiana 




2,500 00 
1,085 00 




1,000 00 




750 00 
2,150 00 




900 00 

Florida Baptist 



21,000 00 
1,000 00 
2,700 00 

Houston Academy 
Howe B. B 
Inst. C 




10 500 

10,000 00 
500 00 
3,900 00 
8,360 00 
1,900 00 







3,050 00 
4,000 00 
1,200 00 
1,600 00 
2,975 00 

Nelson Merry 
New Home 
New Berne 



"8,800 66 
890 00 

"2,065 66 

Pine Valley 



1,400 00 
1,975 00 
1,350 00 

"966 23 




1,600 00 

S E Baptist 



"727" 25 
1,744 00 

S. Illinois P 
*State University 


30, 606 

750 00 

Thirteenth District 
Union Ind 
Virginia Seminary 




1,500 00 
1,700 00 

"i,iio 6o 

16,000 00 

Walker Baptist 
\Vestern College 




"5,666 66 




1,150 00 

Total . . . 


8 787.377 

$ 148,883 50 

The above schools and others supported partially by Negro Baptists 
reported in 1906: 

Schools 85 

Teachers, males 249 

Teachers, females 364 

Total 613 

Total students 16,664 

"Reports from the field indicate progress. The educational work, especially 
in Louisiana, is taking on new life. Baton Rouge College, Coleman Academy 
and a half dozen others in that state, are doing most excellent work, and the 
people give them a support unprecedented. The colored people of North Caro 
lina and South Carolina, each, gave some time ago $6,000 to educational work 
the former for the erection of an industrial hall at Shaw University, Raleigh, 
and the latter for Convention Hall, Benedict College, Columbia. Kentucky, 
Alabama and Georgia are now making great efforts to raise several thousand 
dollars to secure equal amounts from the Mission Society of New York for 
building purposes. The Florida Baptist Academy, Jacksonville, has just com 
pleted a boys dormitory at a cost of $4,000. With the exception of $1,500, the 
colored Baptists of the state raised it. The enrollment for the year shows an 
increase of students. 

"The American Baptist Home Mission Society has done systematic educa 
tional and mission work among colored Baptists of the South for more than 
forty years. The society also aids a few of the schools owned by Negro Bap 

"All together, the society aids in the support of forty-four missionaries and 
244 teachers. The missionaries are distributed in fifteen states and territories," 

(b) Aid to Private Schools. 

There are numbers of private schools established by churches and 
benevolent societies for Negroes. A special canvass was made of these 
late in 1907 to see how far Negroes supported them. 

The United States Bureau of Education in its report for 1905 lists 161 
private schools for Negroes in the United States. Of these 74 of the 
largest and most important have given us figures showing: 

(a) The total cost of maintaining the institution for the last nine 
years (1898-91906-7), including (except where noted) the cost of the 
boarding department, and not including new buildings. 

(b) The total cash payments made to the institutions, including pay 
ments for board, where the boarding department was conducted by 
the institution, but not including payments for books, clothes, travel, 

(c) The cash value of students work, as estimated by the institution. 
This must be, of course, a very indefinite figure, but as nearly all the 
janitor work of these schools is done by students, and also some pro 
ductive industries are carried on, some account must be made. 

According to these reports the total cost of these 74 schools has been, 
so far as reported, $11,537,099 for nine years; missing figures would 
bring this total up to $11,610,000. Of this Negroes have paid in cash 
$3,358,667, or 28.9 per cent, and in cash and work $5,187,269, which is 44.6 
per cent of the total cost. 

The figures by institutions follow: 

Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 


on O 


s? is 

S 3 
S ] 

5 P 




5 21 


. . .^S 
r r t r^ r roj a ; 

*< (N _L^ OS rj T 

88 S-cg^g 

-Jj no 5 ^ 

IH 03 5-1 

83 05-^ 

_ O> CJ 8- 



03 d 03 
O> O) <33 




eg 03 

10 10 

fiq pivd 

isoo imoj, 

^ - 


:=J X *> : 

00 cc 


" 3 

gP>"888" ^ 


a i 


o o> 

fc- O 

tc o 

05 -o 

C . 


q pind 

X5ciooaoocaoi iicc; 

-tfsm Bui 

i I i-t JO 

fo yf.iom fo 

fiq ui 

88 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

From this it is clear that primary and grammar schools for Negroes 
are being supported very largely by Negroes themselves nearly 
all the institutions whose students pay 50 per cent or more of the cost 
in cash being really schools of this character. The schools for higher 
training collect a smaller proportion of cash from their students, and 
the industrial schools the smallest proportion. But the latter schools 
receive a very large payment in work from students. 

Beside these schools there are several hundreds of private and unre 
corded primary schools conducted each year by Negroes in different 
localities, and a fairly widespread system of supplementing the public 
school funds. No data of these schools are available, but the following 
instance in Virginia is instructive: 

A statistical side-light with respect to eleven of these (Virginia) counties is 
that Mr. T. C. Walker personally supervised the collection of $1,685 from the 
people, by which 77 schools had their terms prolonged from one to two months, 
and permanent improvements were made to the amount of $400. Similar in 
character was the work of Mr. Fitch, who led the people in twelve school dis 
tricts to raise the sum of $398, by which their school terms were lengthened.* 

The visitor of the General Educational Board makes this report: 
In the rural districts it is the Negro who must lengthen the term and pro 
vide better houses. Often it is necessary for him to build the house, while the 
school authorities pay for the teacher. Sometimes rent is received from these 
buildings, but more often, particularly in the far South, none is received. 
Accomac county, in Virginia, for instance, owns scarcely one-third of the 
school houses in use in the county. At convenient points throughout the 
county, however, Negroes have purchased land and erected in most cases a 
church, a hall for secret society purposes, and a school house. In some places 
the hall serves as a school house. So closely are these schools and churches 
associated that nearly every school is known by the name of the church near 
it. First Baptist, Ebenezer, etc., are the names commonly applied to the 
schools. The property is usually owned by the entire Negro community. This 
condition is common in the South. Such a contribution to Negro education is 
so closely associated with public education that it frequently escapes notice. 

The way most in vogue at present for supplementing public education in 
the South, among whites especially, is through local taxation, together with 
the consolidation of schools. North Carolina is doubtless in the front in this 
educational revival in the South. Here they have built, on an average, a 
school house a day for the last two years. This movement, however, has 
affected the Negro but little as the Superintendent of Public Instruction in 
formed me. The Negro is hardly in a position now to benefit by political 
methods. He is not consulted nor always included, in communities even 
where local taxation is adopted by the whites. He does not, of course, under 
such circumstances pay the local tax. He generally uses another method for 
raising money in the interest of his schools. Here, as in many other phases 
of Negro life, the church is the agency employed. Through religious denomi 
nations the Negro is doing most toward supplementing his elementary public 
education. This sometimes results in undue multiplicity of schools, but there 
are not wanting instances where communities, regardless of the various relig 
ious faiths, unite in the support of a single school 

* Hampton Negro Conference, No. 8, p. 33. 

Schools 89 

The Baptist associations of Northern Georgia, and the churches and indi 
viduals of half a dozen counties made Jeruel Academy a possibility. They 
have given it property valued at $6,000, and of the running expenses for 1902 
and 1903, amounting to $3,565, Negroes paid $3,189.19. The only outside aid, 
amounting to $500, comes from the Home Mission Society. 

The Americus Institute, situated in the very heart of the black belt of Geor 
gia, represents even better the possibilities of the Negroes along the line of 
self-help. In its present organization this school is only seven years old. 
Prior to that, however, an effort had been made to establish a school there, but 
owing to the dishonesty of a white man employed as agent the people sus 
tained a loss of $1,000 in cash and eleven acres of land, besides another loss of 
$275 stolen by a dishonest clerk of the association. Nevertheless, in seven 
years Mr. M. W. Reddick, the principal, has built up a school with property 
worth $7,000. This has practically all come through the small contributions 
of the Negroes themselves. He collects from the neighborhood, through 
various Baptist oganizations, churches and individuals, about $1,000 yearly. 
Mr. Reddick and his teachers go out to the various churches to collect the 
monthly contributions. Thus the school and the idea of education are kept in 
the minds of the people, who are being educated to habits of giving and to a 
feeling of ownership and pride in their local institutions 

Alabama also furnishes excellent examples of this community spirit in edu 
cation. The Mt. Meigs Institute, of which Miss Cornelia Bowen is principal, 
has acquired property valued at $7,000. This has come largely from the earn 
ings of the Negroes thereabouts. One building was erected by the colored 
people themselves at a cost of $2,000, and for two years they supported the 
school entirely, paying $1,000 and $1,200 a year, respectively. Though this is a 
poor community, they still pay $700 a year tuition. Within five miles of this 
institution is another bearing the suggestive title, "The People s Village 
School." Miss Georgia Washington, who received her training at Hampton, 
is the principal. Here the whole community is organized for educational 
purposes and for the economic and religious ends as well. For instance, they 
not only conduct the school, but build churches, act as a land company, holding 
320 acres of land for sale, and are buying and operating a cotton-gin. The 
school is really the center and inspiration of the whole movement. As a result 
of it, good homes are being established and land has been acquired. The 
school has property valued at $4,000, which consists of four buildings and 27 H 
acres of land. It is owned and controlled by a board of trustees, all of whom are 
local colored men excepting two whites. Each family sending children are 
required to pay $4.37 yearly regardless of the number of children. In this way 
$500 has been collected this year. Thus this poor community of Alabama Ne 
gro farmers and laborers is making possible a schooling for their children 
such as a pretentious town might envy ; for, in addition to sound elementary 
literary training, these pupils are taught sewing, cooking, general housework, 

and theoretical and practical agriculture 

With this group should be mentioned Alabama Baptist University, con 
trolled by Negroes, who raise annually $10,925 out of the $12,905 needed, and 

which has property valued at $40,000, largely acquired by Negroes 

The Negroes of Montgomery, Ala., paid $6,000 for the land on which the 
State Normal School in that city stands, and presented it unconditionally to 
the State Board of Education. They reserved only one acre, which, however, 
the school is allowed to use. The Negroes of that city also pay annually to 
this school in tuition $1,000 which is used to employ teachers for the primary 
work, thus supplementing the school facilities of the city. Two of the school 

90 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

houses used by Montgomery for colored schools are also the property of 

In the public schools in Selma which, by the way, is one of the best as regards 
both building and work which I have seen south of the Potomac, the pupils 
pay one dollar a year as a contingent fund for incidentals, furnish all mate 
rials for the work in both literary and manual training, and provide shades 
and curtains for the windows, piano and organ, pictures for the building, and 
books for the library. Florida and other Southern states furnish examples 
similar to these 

To overcome these poor conditions, and to provide reasonably ample oppor 
tunities for effective training, the Negroes are working in several different 
directions. They are not only supplementing the public funds and length 
ening the school term, but are establishing private schools and consolidating 
with the public schools nearby; they are building independent private 
schools; and they are supporting in larger measure the great schools estab 
lished by Northern philanthropy. One of the most conspicuous cases of con 
solidating with the public school is furnished by the Keyesville Industrial 
School in Charlotte county. This is an industrial school, founded in 1898 and 
supported almost entirely by Negroes, through the Baptist organizations of 
that neighborhood. They have a plant, including 100 acres of land, worth 
$2,>00. They have domitory accommodations for 30 boarding students and a daily 
attendance of 185 pupils. The curriculum includes such instruction as will fit a 
pupil to enter Virginia Union University, with which school it is affiliated, and 
such manual and industrial training as will fit them for useful lives and for 
trade schools like Hampton. This school succeeded in having the pubic school 
and the public funds placed in its hands. It gets only the $175 formerly given 
by the county to the public school, but it gives the children a term of seven 
instead of five months, and it pays two well-trained teachers of its own ap 
pointing $20 each and board per month instead of $15 and $20, respectively, 
without board, as was the case formerly. The children are better housed and 
better taught and maintain higher attendance than was known before, to say 
nothing of having the benefit of effective manual training. This is made pos 
sible by the contributions of Negroes to this school. It is a positive effort on 
the part of the Negroes thereabout (70,000 within a radius of 75 miles) to im 
prove their educational facilities. Through the Baptist Associations, Sunday 
school contributions, churches, tuition and board from pupils, this community 
pays into the school nearly $2,000 yearly. The only support of any magnitude 
received from outside is $200 annually from the Baptist Home Mission Society. 
Keyesville Institute is but one of a group of half a dozen schools of its kind 
scattered around in the counties of Virginia. 

The Halifax Institute at Houston, in a neighboring county, is another 
school conducted in about the same fashion as the one at Keyesville, though 
it is not so large or successful. The community is not yet so well organized 
for educational work, but the school is now in competent hands and will suc 
ceed. Here, too, the county nearby has been consolidated with the private 
school and gains thereby several months in length. The Negroes raise $470 
annually for the support of this work. 

The Pittsylvania Institute, in Pittsylvania county, another of these Baptist 
schools, furnishes one of the best illustrations of what a well organized, earnest 
community may do towards improving the schools. The county schools there 
about were, as usual, poor. The nearest boarding school is at Lynchburg, 
thirty miles away. The people, small farmers owning from ten to 200 acres, 
decided to have a school. These chose a board of trustees and last year, 1903, 

Schools 91 

founded their school; they acquired 2> acres of land for $1 50 and erected a 
building for $1,000. This is two and a half stories high and contains three 
class rooms and eight bed rooms. The financial statement for 1903-4 reads as 
follows : 


From Associations $ 456.62 

From tuition 447.12 

From board 903.00 

Total $ 1,806.74 


Salaries $ 390.00 

Fuel 46.78 

Paid on building 800.00 

Board 903.00 

Tola] $ 2,139.78 

This leaves a debt of $333.04 on the building. So certain are they that this 
will be paid that they are planning another $1,000 building, to be ready for use 
in October. These people have not asked for a cent outside of their own 
neighborhood. They say they prefer to see what they can do before asking 
for aid. I met the principal, a well educated Christian gentleman, in Danville, 
Va., and heard of this school for the first time. It has a preparatory course of 
three years, a normal course of three more, and an academic course of three 
years for those wishing to enter college. This first year they enrolled ninety- 
four pupils. They have not absorbed the public school for there is none 
within two miles.* 

(c) Aid to Public Schools. 

As to Negro support of public schools we can best repeat the conclu 
sions of the Atlanta University Conference of 1901: 

In nearly all of the states there are a few town and city systems which are 
often not included in the State school report, where the cost of Negro schools 
is more nearly equal to that of the whites and where, consequently, the Ne 
groes contribute proportionately less. Since, however, over 70 per cent of the 
Negroes live in the country, this affects comparatively few. With this excep 
tion, then, it can be said that apparently Negroes contributed to their schools 
as follows for 1899 : 

Total cost $ 4,675,504100 per cent. 

Paid by Negroes, direct taxes 1,336,21*1 

Paid by Negroes, indirect taxes 2,426,226 

Estimated total $ 3,762,61779.4 " " 

Paid by white taxes 912,88720.6 " " 

In the past the Negroes have undoubtedly contributed a considerably larger 
proportion than this. For instance, in Delaware, Maryland and Kentucky, 
they contributed more than the total cost of their schools for several years. In 
all the other states the tendency has been to use first indirect taxation for 
schools and then to add direct taxation until today a large proportion of the 
taxes are direct. Now the indirect taxation fell more largely on the Negroes 
than the direct, since they are renters and consumers rather than landowners. 
If Georgia be taken as a typical state in this respect, then the conclusion of 
the Conference, held last May, is true, viz : That in the years 1870 to 1899 the 
Negro school systems of the former slave states have not cost the white tax 
payers a cent, except possibly in a few city systems : 

Cost of Negro schools, 1870-1899. . . $69,11(58,671.48 

Estimated total direct school taxes paid by Negroes, 1870-1899.$ 25,000,000.00 
Indirect taxes and pro rata share of endowments. . . . 45,000,000.00 

Approximate total, 1870-1899 $ 70,000,000.00 

* Report of Hampton Conference, No. 8, pp. 67, 68-70-76. 

92 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

This statement when first made was received with some incredulity and 
criticism, and probably will be now. This is simply because of the careless 
statement that schools have been "given" the Negro without effort, which 
has been so often reiterated.* 

Section 11. Beneficial and Insurance Societies 

No complete account of Negro beneficial societies is possible, so large 
is their number and so wide their ramification. Nor can any hard and 
fast line between them and industrial insurance societies be drawn 
save in membership and extent of business. These societies are also 
difficult to separate from secret societies ; many have more or less ritual 
work, and the regular secret societies do much fraternal insurance busi 

An account of the secret and beneficial societies in several towns of 
various sizes and in different localities will give some idea of the dis 
tribution of these organizations : 

Xenia, Ohio, (2,000 Negroes) 

The church does not, however, occupy the social life of the Negroes as com 
pletely as formerly, or as is now the case in some Southern towns. The home 
is fast becoming among the more intelligent classes in Xenia the real social 
unit. But, leaving aside the home, next to the church are the secret orders. 
There are eleven Negro lodges in Xenia, namely : Wilberforce Lodge, No. 21, 
of Free and Accepted Masons, having 48 members; Lincoln Chapter, No. 2, of 
Royal Arch Masons, having 18 members ; Xenia Commandery, No. 8, of Knights 
Templars, having 20 members; Damon Lodge, No. 29, of Knights of Pythias, 
having 70 members ; Toussaint Lodge of G. U. Order of Odd Fellows ; Daniel s 
Post of Grand Army of the Republic ; Daniel s Corps, No. 228, of Women s Re 
lief Corps; Eastern Star Lodge, No. 2; Bell of Ohio D. T. Tabernacle, No. 511; 
Mount Olive Lodge, No. 25, of Good Samaritans, and a lodge of Knights of 
Tabor, t 

Baltimore, Md., (1890 67,000 Negroes) 

There is probably no city in the land where there are as many societies 
among the colored people as in Baltimore, and several of the large societies 
which have spread far and wide, north and south, had their origin here. 
Nearly all of the societies are beneficial, but they may be divided in general 
into two classes, those beneficial merely and those with secret features. In 
order to help one another in sickness and provide for decent burial, through a 
system of small but regular payments, beneficial societies were formed among 
little groups of acquaintances or fellow laborers. In Baltimore they date back 
to 1820, and were afterwards specially exempted from the state laws forbidding 
meetings of colored people. Twenty-five, at least, had been formed before the 
war ; from 1865 to 1870, seventeen or more were formed ; since 1870, twenty or 
more have been added, several as late as 1884 and 1885. The number of mem 
bers vary from a dozen to over 100. 

In 1884 was held a meeting of many connected with these societies to arouse 
a more general interest in the work, and very interesting reports were pre 
sented. Forty of them gave an aggregate membership of over 2,100. Nearly 

*Atlanta University Publication, No. 6, pp. 91-92. 
fBureau of Labor, No. 48, p. 1041. 

Beneficial and Insurance Societies 93 

1,400 members had been buried, over $45,000 having been given in funeral ex 
penses ; $125,000 had been given as sick dues ; $27,000 had been paid widows by 
some thirty of the societies; over $10,700 had been given towards house rent; 
and over $11,300 had been paid for incidental expenses. Yet there had been 
paid back to the members of many of the societies, from unexpended balances, 
as dividends, a total of over $40,000; and there remained in the banks, to the 
credit of the societies, over $21,400, and in the treasurers hands a cash balance 
amounting to some $1,400. Five had small sums invested besides, and one the 
goodly sum of $5,642. The total amount of money handled by all had been 
nearly $290,000. 

These societies vary somewhat in details. The usual fees from members are 
50 cents a month ; the usual benefits are $4 a week for a number of weeks, and 
then reduced sums, in sickness, and $4,000 for death benefit. Some pay as long 
as sickness lasts. Some give widow s dues according to need. One, for exam 
ple, the Friendly Beneficial Society, organized chiefly by the members of a 
Baptist church, some fifteen years ago, with the usual fees and benefits, carries 
a standing fund of about $1,000, and the yearly fees of the members have paid 
the current expenses of from $300 to $500, and has usually allowed an annual 
dividend of $5 to each. 

The Colored Barbers Society, over fifty years old, gives $80 at the death of a 
member. Three societies, originally very large, have been gotten up in the 
last twenty years, by one colored woman, whose name one of them bears. 

A few of these beneficial societies have disbanded ; a few have changed to 
secret societies. Very few of them have been badly managed, although unin 
corporated and without any public oversight, and everybody seems to speak 
well of them and of their w r ork. 

Secret societies among the colored people are now very numerous. Many 
important ones date back to before the war. The colored Masons and Inde 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows are entirely independent of the whites in Balti 
more, the colored men having been obliged from the state of public feeling in 
the United States in the old days to get a charter from the white brethren in 
England. In 1884 there were nearly 500 colored Masons in Baltimore; now 
there are probably 700. Of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, fifty lodges 
of the seventy-seven working ones, giving a membership of over 2,300. The 
fifty lodges had, during the past two years, aided their sick, buried eighty-three 
brothers and relieved seventy-seven widows and orphans, at a total expendi 
ture of over $13,000. The order held real estate worth $18,500 and had over 
$10,000 in cash. 

Of the secret societies in Baltimore, the most influential are the Samaritans, 
the Nazarites, the Galilean Fishermen and the Wise Men. The first two were 
instituted some years before the war. The first has spread from Baltimore, dur 
ing the forty years of its existence, to a number of states ; but a third of all the 
lodges and nearly a third of all the members are in Maryland (1890). About 
one-half of the order are women, Daughters of Samaria, and they meet by 
themselves in their own lodges. There are now in Maryland fifty-eight lodges, 
with a membership of 1,925. 

The order of Galilean Fishermen, of men and women together, was begun in 
Baltimore in 1856, by a handful of earnest workers ; it was legally incorporated 
in 1869. The order has become influential. It is said to number over 5,000 in 

The order of the Seven Wise Men is a more recent order. There are many 
more of the same secret, beneficial nature, but these are the largest. 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

In 1885 was incorporated the Colored Mutual Benefit Association, the only 
one in the state, entirely managed by colored men, with a colored doctor and 
a prominent colored lawyer for counsel. It is endorsed by all the clergymen, 
has grown rapidly and proven itself worthy of the support of the people. In 
these first few years, some $10,000 have been paid out in benefits.! 

Beneficial Societies of Petersburg. Va. (1898) * 
(Not including secret orders.) 



No. of 

per year 


Sick and 




Young Men s 
{Sisters of Friendship, etc. . 
Union Working Olub 
Sisters of Charity 





$ 7 00 
8 00 
3 00 
3 00 
3 00 

$ 275 00 
68 55 
45 00 
51 00 
135 00 

$ 150 00 
43 78 
23 00 
30 00 

9 175 00 
i28 26 



1 1 

Beneficial Association 
Daughters of Bethlehem. . 
Loving Sisters 
Ladies Working Club 
St. Mark 





f25c. 5 20 
+12c. 300 
+25C. 8 00 
H2C . 3 00 
+12c. 3 00 
il2c 3 00 

1,005 64 
129 48 
22 50 
95 11 
84 00 
68 00 

806 46 
110 04 
30 50 
52 65 
32 00 
27 00 

440 00 

"62 66 

214 09 
150 00 
100 00 


Daughters of Zion 
Young Sisters of Charity. . 
Humble Christ ian 
Sisters of David 
Sisters of Rebeccah 




-I-12C. 3 00 
f!2c. 3 00 
J-12C. 8 00 
8 00 
3 00 

66 00 
90 00 
68 00 
90 00 
120 00 

40 00 
30 00 
35 50 
60 00 
85 00 

36 00 
100 00 
75 00 
130 00 
175 00 


Petersburg Beneficial 
First Baptist Church Ass n. 
Young Men s 
Oak Street Church Society. 
Endeavor, etc 



fl2%c. 3 00 
f50c. 5 20 
+25C. 300 
1 20 
3 00 

85 00 
182 00 
60 00 
211 00 
42 60 
120 00 

11 00 
158 00 
40 00 
202 25 
112 68 
96 00 

99 58 
118 00 
80 00 
100 00 
50 00 
43 00 



$3,118 88 

$2,177 81 

$2,275 87 

Beneficial Societies of Atlanta, Ga. (1898) 
(Not including secret orders.) 



No. of 



Helping Hand, First Con 
gregational Church 



$ 120 

Benefits paid in 5 years, $255; be 
nevolence, $25. 

Benefits paid in 5 years, $870; dona 

Rising Star, Wheat Street 

tions, etc., $50; owns cemetery lot 

Baptist Church 




for its poorer members. 

Daughters of Bethel, Beth 

Donations in 5 years, $126; bene 

el Church 




fits in 5 years, $580. 

Ladies Court of Calanthe . 




Benefits 8590 since 1891. 

Daughters of Friendship, 

Union No. 1, Friendship 

Benefits 5 years, $430; donates much 

Baptist Church 




to the church. 

Fort Street Benevolent 




Benefits 1 year, $190. 

Daughters of Plenty 




Benefits in 4 years, $200; secession 

from Daughters of Bethel. 

Pilgrims Progress, Park 

Street Church 




Benefits in 5 years, $600. 

Sisters of Love, Wheat St. 

Baptist Church 




Has $600 In bank. 

Nine organizations 



$ Notes on the Progress of the Colored People of Maryland Since the War. 1890, 
Jeffrey R. Brackett, Ph. I). 

* Atlanta University Publication, No, 8. J Organized before the war. 

f Assessment upon each member in case any member dies. 

Beneficial and Insurance Societies 95 

Warsaw, Qa. (1908) 

The history of these societies is interesting. The Christian Progress is the 
oldest of them. It was organized soon after the close of the war by a number 
of Christian people who banded themselves together for mutual help. The 
society has twenty-five members and the monthly dues per person are 25 cents. 
The sick benefit is 50 cents per week. The society pays one-half of the doctor s 
bill. The death benefit is $27. Any person of good moral character may now 
become a member. The next oldest society dates its organization from recon 
struction days, when there was a military company here with a woman s aux 
iliary. The company passed out of existence but the auxiliary, under the name 
of the Ladies Branch, has continued to the present time. This society owns 
a hall, where its meetings are held. Its membership is fifty and its monthly 
dues 25 cents per member. The sick benefit is 50 cents per week and the death 
benefit is $25. When a member dies an assessment of 25 cents is levied on the 
survivors. The Boyer Quiet Club was organized in 1888 at the suggestion of 
an old German named Boyer who, although very poor, attempted to help the 
poorer Negroes. The society charges an admission fee of $3. It has about 
fifty members, with monthly dues of 25 cents. The sick benefits are 50 cents 
per week and one-half the cost of the doctor s first visit. The society pays all 
the funeral expenses. The Earnest Workers has been organized five years. 
It has forty-five members with the usual monthly dues. The sick benefits are 
50 cents per week and the cost of the physician s first visit. The death bene 
fits are $20 and one-half of the funeral expenses ; it reported $100 in the treasury. 
The E. K. Love Benevolent Society, with headquarters in Savannah, is char 
tered, the Warsaw branch having sixty members. This society has a twofold 
purpose : to aid the sick and bury the dead, and to assist in supporting the 
Central City College at Macon,Ga., an institution controlled and supported by 
colored Baptists of the state. Each member of the society is taxed 60 cents a 
year for the support of the college. For local purposes the members are taxed 
25 cents per month. The sick benefit is $1 per week. When a member dies $30 
is paid on the funeral expenses and $10 to the nearest relative. Only Christians 
are eligible for membership in the society. The Sons and Daughters of Zion 
is primarily a children s society. It has twenty-seven members and the 
monthly dues are 15 cents per month. The sick benefits are 50 cents per week 
and one-half the doctor s bill. The death benefit is $20. It reported $113 in the 
treasury. * 

Philadelphia, Pa., 1899 (60,000 Negroes) 

From early times the precarious economic condition of the free Negroes led 
to many mutual aid organizations. They were very simple in form : an initia 
tion fee of small amount was required and small regular payments ; in case of 
sickness, a weekly stipend was paid, and *n case of death the members were 
assessed to pay for the funeral and help the widow. Confined to a few mem 
bers, all personally known to each other, such societies were successful from 
the beginning. We hear of them in the eighteenth century, and by 1838 there 
were 100 such small groups, with 7,448 members, in the city. They paid in 
.$18,851, gave $14,172 in benefits, and had $10,023 on hand. Ten years later about 
8,000 members belonged to 106 such societies. Seventy-six of these had a total 
membership of 5,187. They contributed usually 25 cents to37X cents a mouth ; 
the sick received $1.50 to $3.00 per week, and death benefits of $10 to $20 were 
allowed. The income of these seventy-six societies was $16,814.23 ; 681 families 
were assisted. These societies have since been superceded to some extent by 

Work, In Southern Workman, January, 19<>8. 

96 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

other organizations; they are still so numerous, however, that it is impracti 
cal to catalogue them ; there are probably several hundred of various kinds in 
the city. 

From general observation and the available figures, it seems fairly certain 
that at least 4,000 Negroes belong to secret orders, and that these orders an 
nually collect at least $25,000, part of which is paid out in sick and death bene 
fits and part invested. The real estate, personal property and funds of these, 
orders amount to no less than $125,000. The function of the secret society is 
partly social intercourse and partly insurance. They furnish pastime from 
the monotony of work, a field for ambition and intrigue, a chance for parade, 
and insurance against misfortune. Next to the church they are the most popu 
lar organizations among Negroes. 

Of the beneficial societies The Quaker .City Association is a sick 

and death benefit society, seven years old, which confines its membership to 
native Philadelphians. It has 280 members and distributes $1,400 to $1,500 
annually. The Sons and Daughters of Delaware is over fifty years old. It 
has 106 members and owns $3,000 worth of real estate. The Fraternal Associa 
tion was founded in 1861 ; it has 86 members and distributes about $300 a year. 
It "was formed for the purpose of relieving the wants and distresses of each 
other in the time of affliction and death, and for the furtherance of such 
benevolent views and objects as would tend to establish and maintain a per 
manent and friendly intercourse among them in their social relations in life." 
The Sons of St. Thomas was founded in 1823 and was originally confined to 
members of St. Thomas Church. It was formerly a large organization, but 
now has 80 members, and paid out in 1896, $416 in relief. It has $1,500 invested 
in government bonds. In addition to these there is the Sons and Daughters 
of Moses, and a large number of other small societies. 

There is a rising also a considerable number of insurance societies, differing 
from the beneficial in being conducted by directors. The best of these are the 
Crucifixion, connected with the Church of the Crucifixion, and the Avery, 
connected with Wesley A. M. E. Z. Church ; both have a large membership 
and are well conducted. Nearly every church is beginning to organize one or 
more such societies, some of which in times past have met disaster by bad 
management. The True Reformers of Virginia, the most remarkable Negro 
beneficial organizationyet started,has several branches here. Beside these there 
are numberless minor societies, as the Alpha Relief, Knights and Ladies of St. 
Paul, the National Co-operative Society, Colored Women s Protective Associa 
tion, Loyal Beneficial, etc. Some of these are honest efforts and some are 
swindling imitations of the pernicious, white, petty insurance societies.* 

New York 

The older "African societies" in Philadelphia and Newport have 
already been noted. There was one in New York also, organized in 
1808 and chartered in 1810: 

The organization celebrated its incorporation by marching through the 
streets with music and flying colors in spite of a warning to the effect that 
" the authorities would be entirely powerless to protect you on the streets, and 
you would be torn in pieces by howling mobs." 

The society, after its incorporation, exerted a wide influence in the com 
munity. It became so large that out of it sprang the Clarkson Society, the 
Wilberforce Benevolent Society, the Union Society, and the Woolman Society 
of Brooklyn. 

* Philadelphia Negro, pp. 221-25. 

Beneficial and Insurance Societies 97 

At present the real estate in its possession is valued at not less than $40,000. 
One of the earliest accounts, covering 1813 and 1814, shows receipts to the 
amount of $1,148.17 ; from 1852 to 1855, inclusive, rents of the society s buildings, 
dues, etc., $2,628.67 ; in 1891, $3,162.15, and sick dues paid out to the amount of 
$390 ; gratuities $286.20 ; for 1892, the receipts from all sources amount to $2,735.64. 

The objects of the society were: "To raise a fund to be appropriated ex 
clusively toward the support of such of the members of said society as shall 
by reason of sickness or infirmity, or either, be incapable of attending to their 
usual vocation or employment, and also toward the relief of the widows and 
orphans of deceased members." 

The society owns two pieces of real estate in the central part of the city, one 
rented to twenty colored families, and the other a store and dwelling occupied 
by three families. 

There are a large number of beneficial and insurance societies in New 
York now, as in other cities. 


There were in Chatham associations formed, called True Bands. They were 
composed of colored people of both sexes, associated for their own improve 
ment ; their objects were many : For general interest in each other s welfare ; 
to pursue such plans and objects as may be for their mutual advantage; to 
improve their schools and induce their race to send their children into the 
schools; to break down prejudice; to bring the churches, so far as possible, 
into one body, and not let minor differences divide them ; to prevent litigation 
by referring all disputes among themselves to a committee; to stop the beg 
ging system (going to the United States and raising large sums of money, of 
which the fugitives never received the benefit); to raise such funds among 
themselves as may be necessary for the poor, the sick and the destitute fugi 
tives newly arrived ; to prepare themselves ultimately to bear their due weight 
of political power. 

The first True Band was organized in Maiden, in September, 1854, consisting 
of 600 members. It is represented as having thus far fulfilled its objects ad 
mirably. Small monthly payments are made by the members. The receipts 
have enabled them to meet all cases of destitution and leave a surplus in the 

In all other places where the bands have been organized the same good re 
sults have followed. There were in 1856 fourteen True Bands organized in 
various sections of Canada West.* 

The beneficial societies are thus seen to be universal among colored 
people and conducted in all sorts of ways, from the simple form noted 
in 3 to the regular insurance society. No accurate estimate of the 
income of these societies is possible. 

Their history in Philadelphia is instructive on this point: Judging 
from the figures here and in other cities, and remembering that the in 
surance society is largely replacing the old beneficial society and that 
the country districts have fewer societies than the city, it seems, to 
hazard a guess, that between a quarter and a half million dollars are 
still annually paid to Negro beneficial societies. 

As has been said the purely beneficial societies are being absorbed 
into larger insurance societies. The first Negro insurance society 
appears in Philadelphia: 

* Drew: The Refugees. 

98 Economic Cooperation Among Negro Americans 

, The year 1810 witnessed the creation of the African Insurance Company, 
iwhich was located at No. 159 (now 529) Lombard street: Joseph Randolph, 
president; Cyrus Porter, treasurer; William Coleman, secretary, with a capi 
tal stock of $5,000. "The members of this company are all colored persons," as 
stated in the directories for 1811 and 1813. In the latter year it was located at 
155 Lombard street, which appears to have been the residence of its secretary, 
whose profession was given as "teacher." We find 110 traces of it after this 
year; some of its policies are yet preserved in the families of the insured.* 

r The transition from beneficial to secret and insurance societies is thus 
(described in Virginia: 

As soon as the colored man became free he formed all kinds of associations 
for mutual protection, many of which exist today though in somewhat modi 
fied forms. These organizations were founded for the purpose of caring for 
the sick and furnishing decent burial at death. No attention was paid to dif 
ference of age, and very little to health conditions. The same joining fee was 
charged regardless of age, and the same monthly dues paid. The usual 
amounts paid for initiation fee in these "Benevolent Societies" was from $2.50 
to $5.00. Monthly dues of 50 cents were generally charged. 

The amount paid for sick dues w T as regulated by the by-laws of the various 
societies and ranged from $1.50 per week to $5.00. Members were taken in on 
the recommendation of friends. These organizations were formed by the 
hundred in the cities of Virginia, and many of them served a good purpose in 
that the people were brought together and friendly intercourse established. 
These societies were known by their names and many of them were long and 
curious. Regalia of all kinds were worn and the society having the greatest 
amount of regalia was the most popular. 

From paying no attention to the laws of health and taking in persons with 
out medical examination, many of these organizations found themselves 
loaded down with large amounts of money due on account of unpaid sick dues 
and death benefits. Many of them have gone to the wall and there remains 
little to tell that they ever existed 

In the early eighties the colored people began to take insurance in white 
companies requiring a small weekly payment and giving in return therefor a 
death benefit and in some instances sick dues. As the amounts charged were 
small and no trouble was attached because of the payments being made to 
agents at the homes, the growth of these societies was rapid. 

Some of these persons being more inquisitive than others found that the 
amounts paid on accounts of colored persons were smaller than the amounts 
paid to whites for the same premiums. Deciding at once that this was unjust, 
the more enterprising members of the race began to devise ways and means 
to break down this discrimination by the establishing of colored insurance 
companies and by attaching an insurance feature to societies already organ 
ized. The promoters of these various companies had no experience whatever 
in insurance, and it never once occurred to them that all successful insurance 
is based on some well established mortality table. No investigations were 
made in order to find out the relative death rate of the colored and white i 
races. In order to secure the business from white companies the common f 
attempt was to adopt a rate lower than that charged by the white companies! 
and to pay therefor more benefits. The woods are full of the graves of these 

*A History of the Insurance Company of North America, (the oldest fire and ma 
rine insurance company in America). The Negro society was formed in 171H5. Of. 
Philadelphia Negro, p. 28. 

Beneficial and Insurance Societies 99 

earlier companies which failed for the want of knowledge of business.* 

The following is a list of the larger Negro industrial insurance socie 
ties now operating: 

The United States 

People s Mutual Aid Association Little Rock, Ark. 

The Royal Mutual Aid Beneficial Association " Wilmington, Del. 

National Benefit Insurance Co Jacksonville Fla 

Afro-American Industrial Insurance Go Jacksonville Fla. 

Union Mutual Aid Association Jacksonville Fla. 

Oordele Mutual and Fire Insurance Oo Oordele,Ga. 

Atlanta Mutual Insurance Oo Atlanta , Ga. 

Union Mutual Insurance Oo Atlanta, Ga. 

Savannah Mutual and Fire Insurance Co Savannah, Ga. 

The Pilgrim Health Insurance Co Augusta, Ga. 

Southern Mutual Insurance Co Augusta, Ga. 

Guarantee Relief Association Augusta, Ga! 

People s Mutual Aid Association Muskogee, I. T. 

United Aid and Benevolent Association Jersey City, N. J. 

Benevolent Aid and Relief Association Baltimore, Md. 

Mutual Benefit Society Baltimore, Md. 

Benevolent Aid and Relief Association Annapolis, Md. 

Toilers Mutual Insurance Co Greensboro, N. C. 

Progressive Benefit Association Charleston, S. C. 

-North Carolina Mutual and Provident Association Durham, N. O. 

United States Life Insurance Oo Charleston, 8. C. 

Metropolitan Mutual Benefit Association Charleston, 8. C. 

American Life and Benefit Insurance Oo Durham, N. C. 

The Home Insurance Co Charleston, 8. C. 

Piedmont Life Insurance Co Greensboro, N. C. 

Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co Durham, N. C. 

Toilers Mutual Life Insurance Co Tarboro, N. C. 

Keystone Aid Society Philadelphia, Pa. 

Northern Aid Society Philadelphia, Pa. 

Reliable Aid and Improvement Society Philadelphia, Pa. 

Mutual Improvement Society Washington, D. C. 

National Benefit Association Washington, D. C. 

Hand in Hand Fraternity Washington, D. C. 

Guarantee Aid and Relief Society Savannah, Ga. 

American Beneficial Insurance Oo Richmond, Va. 

"^-Richmond Beneficial Insurance Oo Richmond, Va. 

Virginia Beneficial Insurance Oo Norfolk, Va. 

Star of Zion Relief and Accident Corporation Boydton, Va. 

United Aid Insurance Co Richmond, Va. 

Benevolent and Relief Association Guthrie, Okla. 

Lincoln Benefit Association Raleigh, N. C. 

Pimbas Mutual Aid Society Baltimore, Md. 

St. James Beneficial Society Bal timore, Md. 

Co-operative Insurance Co Hannibal, Mo. 

Union Central Relief Florence, Ala. 

Independent Benevolent Order Georgia 

Grand United Order of True Reformers Richmond, Va. 

Independent Order of St. Luke Richmond, Va. 

Home Protective Association 

People s Mutual Aid Association Helena, A rk. 

The Alpha Insurance Co Washington, D. C. 

Industrial Savings Society. .. Wilmington, Del. 

Mutual Insurance Co Athens, Ga. 

Georgia Southern Home Aid Insurance Co Augusta, Ga. 

Standard Beneficial and Relief Oo Baltimore, Md. 

People s Beneficial and Fraternal Co Baltimore, Md. 

Cosmopolitan Beneficial Association St. Paul, Minn. 

Long Island Industrial Association Brooklyn, N. Y. 

United Aid Benevolent Association New York, N. Y. 

Children s Aid Society . .Cincinnati, Ohio 

* Report of the Hampton Conference, No. 8, pp. 15-16, 18. 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Mutual Reliable Aid Society Philadelphia, Pa. 

Fidelity Mercantile Fraternity Norfolk, Va. 

Consumers Co-operative Fraternity Norfolk, Va. 

United Brotherhood Fraternity Norfolk, Va. 

The list makes no pretentious to completeness and could be greatly 
extended. Such Negro insurance societies have had various external 

A fro- American insurance companies were forging ahead so rapidly that the 
^legislature of Virginia passed a law with the expressed purpose to put the 
Afro-American companies out of business, during the year of 1903, and raise 
the state license of insurance companies to $200 and 1 per cent on gross receipts. 
These enactments simply caused the Afro-American companies to hustle more 
and they paid the taxes. These legislators met again; passed a law to this 
effect: In order for insurance companies paying sick and death claims to 
continue to do business they must deposit in the state treasury the round sum 
of $10,000 as a security to their policy holders. Many thought that Virginia 
would be a grave yard for Afro-American insurance companies. White agents 
on their route told Afro-Americans holding policies in Afro-American com 
panies, that their moneys were lost and they had better join the white compa 
nies. The Virginia Beneficial and Insurance Co., and three other Afro-Ameri 
can companies individually put up their $10,000 and today there are more Afro- 
American insurance companies, with home offices in the state, doing business 
. than there are white. % 

Most of the laws referred to are to protect policy holders, but the 
Negro societies have noticed that Southern legislatures; only began to 
awaken to this need of protection when Negro societies began driving 
the whites out of business. 

Virginia was the first center of this development, because of the ex 
traordinary growth of Negro industrial insurance there: 

We find on investigation that in the state of Virginia quite a number of in 
surance organizations have been formed, and in the report of the Auditor of 
Public Accounts for the year 1902, we find the following report which will 
give some idea of the magnitude of the insurance business as conducted by 
Negroes in the state of Virginia. There are quite a number of insurance com 
panies and fraternal societies in the state that do not as yet make reports to 
the Auditor. According to the official directory of the city of Richmond 
there are in that city alone sixteen insurance companies conducted by Negroes : 




in force 


American Benefit 
Richmond Benefit 
Southern Aid Society of Virginia 
United Aid 
Benevolent Aid and Relief Association 
Grand Fountain United Order True Reformers. 


$ 653,521 


$ 617,106 


$ 3,449,170 



If a complete report could be had of the business which the colored insur 
ance companies and the fraternal societies are doing in the state of Virginia it 

t New York A ye. 

Beneficial and Insurance Societies 101 

would show that more than 300,000 colored men, women and children carry 
some form of insurance. This means a great deal for the business conditions 
of the people of this state, since these organizations not only provide for the 
relief of the policy holders in sickness, but a large part of the money paid out 
on the account of death claims finds permanent investment in various forms. * 

The career of one Negro insurance society has been so remarkable 
that it deserves especial study. Most of the following facts are from a 
United States Government investigation: 

The True Reformers constitutes probably the most remarkable Negro 
organization in the country. The association has its headquarters in Rich 
mond, Va., and its history in brief is as follows: 

The Grand Fountain 

The association was organized in January, 1881, by Rev. William Washing 
ton Browne, an ex-slave of Habersham county, Ga., as a fraternal beneficiary 
institution, composed of male and female members, and began with 100 mem 
bers and a capital of $150. On April 4, 1883, or over two years later, the circuit 
court of the city of Richmond, Va., granted a regular charter of incorporation 
as a joint stock company to Browne and his associates under the name of "The 
Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers." The chief purpose 
of incorporation was to provide what is to be known as an endowment or 
mutual benefit fund; the capital stock was "to be not less than $100 nor more 
than $10,000, to be divided into shares of the value of $5 each ;" the company 
was to hold real estate " not to exceed in value the sum of $25,000 ;" the princi 
pal office was to be kept in the city of Richmond, and officers named in the 
charter for the year were Rev. William W. Browne, Richmond, Va., Grand 
Worthy Master; Eliza Allen, Petersburg, Va., Grand Worthy~STTstress ; R, T. 
Q.uarles f Ashland. Va.. Grand Worthy Vice-Master ; S. W. Button. Richmond. 
Va., Grand Worthy Chaplain; Peter H^Wonlfolk , Richmond, Va., Grand 
Worthy Secretary; Robert I. Clarke, Centralia, Va., Grand Worthy Treasurer. 
These, with six others, composed the Board of Directors for the first year. 
Thus the True Reformers started on their way as a full-fledged joint stock 
corporation, whose chief aim was to provide a form of what is known as 
mutual beneficial insurance for its members. In 1898 the charter was amended 
so that a part of section 2 should read as follows : " The said corporation shall 
issue certificates of membership to its members and shall pay death benefits 
to the heirs, assigns, personal or legal representatives of the deceased mem- 1 
bers;" and section 4, as follows: "The real estate to be held shall not exceed* 
in value the sum of five hundred thousand ($500,000) dollars." 

Up to December, 1901, the last report of the organization shows that it had . 
paid in death claims $606,000, and in sick, $1,500,000, and that the membership 
was over 50,000, having increased 18,000 in the preceding year. The increase in 
twenty years from a membership of 100 and a capital of $150 to a membership 
of over 50,000, and with real estate aggregating $223,500 in value, constitutes an 
excellent showing. 

But it is not the growth nor even the existence of the Grand Fountain of 
the True Reformers as a mutual insurance association, with its small army of 
employees, that causes it to be considered here ; it is the affiliated by-products, 
to use an industrial expression, that are of interest and thai may prove to be 
of great economic value to the Negro race, t 

The report of the order for 1907 with the "by-products" or affiliated depart 
ments is as follows: 

The Fountain Department has grown from four Fountains or lodges in 1881, 
to 2,678 Fountains or lodges in January, 1907. The 100 members have grown 

* Hampton Conference, No. 7. 

f Bulletin of the United States Department of Labor, No. 41, pp. 807-14. 


Economic Co=operation Among Negro Americans 

to more than 100,000, who have been initiated into the order, and of whom there 
are now benefited in the Fountains 50,636. There have been 8,322 deaths in the 
Senior Fountain, for which there has been paid ,$979,440.55. 

The joining fees of this department are from $4.60 to $6.60, and persons are 
admitted from 18 to 60 years of age. Monthly dues, 55 cents for eight months 
and 60 cents for four months are paid into the Fountain by each member. No 
extra tax or assessment is levied to pay the death benefits. 

In 1885 there was organized and put in operation a department for the chil 
dren knowm as the Rosebud Department. For twenty-one years this depart 
ment was in operation under the management of the Grand Fountain and 
more than 30,000 children have been entered into this department. Children 
are taken from 2 to 18 years of age. The joining fee is 50 cents, monthly dues 
are 16 cents. Sick benefits range from $1 down to 25 cents per week, accord 
ing to the length of time sick. There have been 727 deaths in this class for 
which the sum of $23,214 has been paid. 

The class department of the Mutual Benefit Degree was introduced in 1885 
for the purpose of paying to members of the Fountain department an addi 
tional amount in death claims of from $200 to $1,000. This department, like the 
others, has grown and increased, from time to time, until today there are 5,980 
members. There have been 1,134 deaths in the twenty-two years, for which 
there has been paid to the heirs of deceased members $354,334.70. 

The following tables will give the ages, joining fees and dues of each of the 
classes : 

Class "B" Table 



Value of 
after 1 Yr. 

Value of 
before 1 yr. 


ly dues 

18 to 25. . . 
25 to 30 
30 to 35 
35 to 40 
40 to 45 

$ 2 50 
2 75 
3 00 
3 25 
3 50 

$ 200 00 
200 00 
200 00 
200 00 
140 00 

$ 100 00 
100 00 
100 00 
100 00 
70 00 

$ 4 75 
4 75 
4 75 
5 70 
5 70 

$ 20 

45 to 50 
50 to 55 
55 to 60 

3 75 
4 00 
4 25 

115 00 
90 00 
65 00 

58 00 
45 00 
33 00 

6 65 
6 65 

7 70 


Class "E" Table 



Value of 
after 1 Yr. 

Value of 
before 1 yr. 


ly dues 

18 to 25. . . 
25 to 30 

$ 5 00 
5 25 

$ 500 00 
500 00 

$ 250 00 
250 00 

$12 60 
12 60 

$ 3 15 
3 15 

30 to 35 
35 to 40 
40 to 45 
45 to 50 
50 to 55 

5 50 
5 75 
6 00 
6 25 
6 50 

500 00 
500 00 
500 00 
500 00 
500 00 

250 00 
250 00 
250 00 
250 00 

15 60 
15 60 
20 48 
20 48 
28 48 

3 90 
8 90 
5 12 
5 12 

5 87 

Class "M" Table 



Value of 


ly dues 

18 to 30 
30 to 35 

$11 00 
12 00 

$1,000 00 
900 00 

$21 00 
25 56 

$ 5 25 
6 39 

35 to 40 
40 to 45 
45 to 50 

12 50 
13 00 
13 50 

900 00 
800 00 
700 00 

25 56 
26 04 
26 04 

6 39 
6 51 
6 51 

Beneficial and Insurance Societies 103 

The benefits paid by all departments to date have been : 

8,322 Fountain deaths $ U79,440.55 

727 Rosebud deaths 23,214.00 

542 Class B deaths 90,444 75 

591 (Jlass E deaths 263,714.95 

1 Class M death 175.00 

Total, 10,193 deaths $1,356,989.25 

This amount paid in death benefits is not all that has been paid, for the va 
rious subordinate Fountains have paid over a million and a half dollars in sick 
benefits, making a grand total paid to members by the Grand Fountain and 
its subordinate lodges of $2,856,989.25. 

Savings Bank 

In 1887 the necessity for a repository for the funds of the organization was 
made very evident when at the organization of a subordinate Fountain in 
Charlotte county, Virginia, the funds collected were entrusted to a white store 
keeper by the treasurer for safe keeping. The white storekeeper passed the 
word amongst his neighbors, and it was determined by them to break up the \ 
organization. Feeling between the races was running very high because of a 
recent lynching in the neighborhood. This strange condition of affairs led to / 
the organization of the savings bank: The Savings Bank of the Grand Foun- / 
tain, United Order of True Reformers, was chartered by the Virginia Legisla 
ture March, 1888, and went into operation April 3, 1889, receiving $1,200 on de 
posit the first day. 

The capital stock was placed at $100,000, each share being $5. The by-laws 
provided that only members of the Grand Fountain could take stock, and one 
person was only allowed to take a limited amount. In this way it was sought 
by the founders to perpetuate the bank and prevent the possible pooling of 
the stock. In thirteen years from the date of the charter the whole amount 
of capital stock was taken up. 

The bank receives deposits of from one dollar up, and pa.ys interest at the 
rate of 3 per cent on all deposits. The business for the first five months of the 
bank amounted to $9,881.28 in deposits. Today it has : 

Capital stock paid in . . $ 100,000 00 

Surplus fund 95,000 00 

Undivided profits, less amount paid for interest, expenses and taxes 29,136 95 

Individual deposits subject to check 125,526 76 

Time certificates of deposit ....... 

Total $ 560,409 82 

The Reformers Mercantile and Industrial Association 

The Reformers Mercantile and Industrial Association was incorporated 
December 14, 1899. This department conducts a system of stores doing an an- \ 
uual business of over $100,000. The principal one of these stores is located at 
Richmond, Va. 

The Reformer 


The Reformer, a weekly newspaper with a circulation of 19,000 copies, is pub- \ 
lished by the Reformers Mercantile and Industrial Association. A general 
printing department is conducted by the Reformer, where all classes of print 
ing is neatly and quickly done. 

Hotel Reformer 

The Hotel Reformer, located at So. 900 North Sixth street, Richmond, Va, 
has accommodation for 150 guests. 

104 Economic Co=ope ration Among Negro Americans 

Old Folks Home 

An Old Folks Home located at Westham, Henrico county, Va., six miles 
west of Richmond, is established for the benefit of the old members of the 
colored race. Westham farm, on which the home is located, consists of 634% 
acres, of which 200 acres have been cut up for Brownsville, a colored town. 

The Old Folks Home is supported by voluntary contributions made by the 
various members of the organization and the friendly public. Inmates are 
taken regardless of their religious belief or fraternal connection. 

s Reformer Building and Loan Association, incorporated 

The Reformer Building and Loan Association, incorporated under the laws 
of the State of Virginia, has as its object the encouragement of industry, fru 
gality, home building and saving among its members. Its offices are located 
at No. 604 North Second street, Richmond, Va. 

Real Estate Department 

The Real Estate Department of the Grand Fountain was established in 11)02, 
and controls the property holdings of the organization. It has under its con 
trol twenty-seven buildings and three farms, with a total value of $400,000, 
which belong to the institution, and leases for the benefit of the institution 
twenty-three other buildings. 

Brief summaries of the business of thirty other Negro industrial in 
surance societies follow: 

1. Progressive Benefit Association, Charleston, S. C. Fees 5 to 40 cents per 
week, to be collected by agents. Sickness is reported at the office, and paid 
one week after report on doctor s certificate. Death claims are paid one week 
after reported. Business: 1904, $10,744 ; 1905, $10,102; 1906, $10,331 ; 1907 to July 1, 

2. The American Life and Benefit Insurance Co., Durham, N. C. Chartered 
February, 1906. Business: Amount paid in 1906-7, $5,235.15 ; amount paid out, 

3. The American Beneficial Insurance Co., Richmond, Va. Two hundred 
stockholders. Branch establishments in all cities and towns of Virginia and 
the District of Columbia. Business: 1902-3, $61,177.34; 1903-4, $60,657.80; 1904-5, 
$76,278.80; 1905-6, $83,951.60 ; 1906-7, $89,453.84. Total paid up capital, $15,000. Real 
estate owned in Richmond and Newport News, $5,000. "It was organized Aug 
ust, 1902, in the city of Richmond, with the present officers in charge. It had 
a healthy start from the beginning, for within three weeks after the President 
made the call for those who desired to take stock to meet him, $8,700 in cash 
was paid in. Sixty thousand persons have taken policies with us during these 
five years." 

4. Home Protective Association. Members in State, 2,000; lodges, 100. 
Methods of operation : On the assessment plan. Total income for 190(3-7, $18,000 ; 
real estate owned, $4,500. " The association was organized three years ago with 
ten charter members." 

5. Mutual Improvement Society, Washington, I). C. Members, 6,000, with 
branch offices in twenty-five States of the Union. Business: Two years, 1906-7, 
$60,000. "Society was incorporated March 1, 1897." 

6. Union Mutual Aid Association, Jacksonville, Fla. Branch establish 
ments throughout principal cities and towns of Florida. Business done in the 
last three years, $50,000; total capital, $5,000. Real estate owned: Bridge and 
Union streets. 

Beneficial and Insurance Societies 105 

7. United Aid and Benevolent Association of America, Jersey City, N. J. 
Branch establishments: New York City, New Rochelle, Tarrytown, White 
Plains, Nyack, and Saratoga Springs, N. Y.,Lakewood, Asbury Park, Newark, 
N. J., Columbia, S. C. Insures against sickness, accident and death and fire in 
the insurance department. In the real estate department, rents, leases, buys 
and sells ; takes first and second mortgages, and loans money. Business : Last 
year, the receipts for the Insurance Department, $17,672.75; in the Real Estate 
Department, $11,591.81, making a total of $29,263.56. Paid out last year for sick 
claims, $4,620.50, and $2,532.25 in death claims, total $7,152.75, leaving a balance 
of $10,520; capital, $10,000. Real estate owned: New York and New Jersey. 
"The United Aid and Benevolent Association was organized June 10, 1901, and 
incorporated under the laws of the State of New Jersey in the same year. On 
June 10, 1907, the company had been in operation six years. Since that time, 
we have insured about 15,000 persons. Our realty company is incorporated for 

8. Union Benefit Association, Savannah, Ga., with 25,009 members. Branch 
offices : Atlanta, Ga., Charleston, S. C., Thomasville, Ga., Albany, Ga., Beaufort, 
S, C., Rincon, Ga., Bluffton, S. C., Guyton, Ga., Daufuskie, S. C., Summerville, 
S. C., Jesup, Ga. Mutual co-operative upon the assessment plan. Total income 
for 1906, $24,282.20. "The association was organized in 1903; since that time we 
have written up over $700,000 worth of business. The business is gradually 
increasing and warrants over 200 employees." 

9. The Gallilean Fishermen Joint Stock Association owns a building worth 
$5,000. Baltimore, Md., 1906. 

10. The Stock Association of the Grand United Order of the Sons and 
Daughters of Good Hope. Baltimore, Md. 

11. The Grand United Order of the Sons and Daughters of Moses owns a 
building worth $9,000. Baltimore, Md. 

12. Benevolent and Relief Association, Guthrie, Okla. Capital stock $5,000, 

13. Co-operative Insurance Co., Hannibal, Mo. The company is about one 
year old and it has 1,000 members. 1906. 

14. National Benefit Association, Jacksonville, Fla. Capital stock $10,000. 

15. The Afro-American Industrial and Benefit Association, Jacksonville, 
Fla. Paid up capital stock $10,000. 

16. Toilers Mutual Life Insurance Co., Tarboro, N. C. Directors, 11 ; busi 
ness done in 1906-7, $2,982,85. No capital; an assessment company. "Com 
menced business March 5, 1906." 

17. Star of Zion Relief Accident Corporation, Boydton,Va. Membership, 
2,500. Benefits: From 5 to 49 years 18 cents to 25 cents. After twelve months 
a member is benefited by a policy of $100, which matures in twelve or fourteen 
years, followed by a continued policy of $100 to $300 at same rates. In the Ac 
cident Department sick and accident and death benefits are paid according to 
age. For $2 per week one receives $100 at death 10 per cent every ten years, 
minus what you draw out. After five years one-half of the initiation fee is 
paid back, on written application, complying with the rules of the Supreme 
Fountain. After thirty years membership policies are paid off. Fees: $3 to 
join, 30 cents per month ; in city, 60 cents per month. Benefits from $25 to $50. 
Capital stock, $10,000. Business done in two years, 1906-7, about $10,000, with a 
paid capital of $1,000. Real estate, $2,500. "Chartered under the laws of Vir 
ginia May 9, 1904." One of the main features of the order is its Reformation 
Department, intended to reclaim the fallen youth of the race. 

18. People s Mutual Aid Association, Little Rock, Ark. Branch establish 
ments at Pine Bluff, Helena, Fort Smith, Texarkana, Wynne, Mariaiina, Arka- 

106 Economic Co=operation Among Negro Americans 

delphia, Brinkley, Jonesboro, Hot Springs, Batesville, Clarendon, DeValls 
Bluff, Cotton Plant, Camden and Forrest City, Ark., Muskogee, South McAl- 
lester, Ardmore and Chickasha, Indian Territory. Business done in 1906-7, 
,f 63,923.10; 1907, $237,449. Capital paid up, $50,000. "Organized July 1, 1904. 
Twenty-three thousand, five hundred and seventy-eight members to date. 
Since the association was organized we have met with wonderful success. 
Today we are employing 125 young men and women. Prospects bid fair for 
an opening of at least 150 more during the next two years. Connected with 
Capital City Savings Bank." 

19. North Carolina Mutual and Provident Association, Durham, N. C., has 
110,000 members; fifty-one branch offices, twenty-nine in North Carolina and 
twelve in South Carolina. Insurance on the assessment plan. We also write 
straight life and endowment insurance. Policies are collected weekly, month 
ly and annually by over 400 agents through fifty-one branch offices. Total 
business in 1906, $117,000. Twenty-five thousand dollars worth of real estate 
in Durham, N. C. "This company was organized in April, 1899, w r ith seven 
directors. After operating two years five of these men became discouraged 
and the entire business was bought by John Merrick, A. M. Moore and C. C. 
Spaulding. Now we are paying an average of $150 per day for benefits and 
our business is in a prosperous condition, having never been sued for a single 
legal claim." 

20. National Benefit Association, Washington, D. C, Thirty-nine stock 
holders and 27,888 members. Branch offices in Newark, New Brunswick and 
Camden, N. J., Providence, R. I., New York, N. Y., and Pittsburg, Steelton, 
Williamsport, Wilkesbarre, Harrisburg and Philadelphia. Pa. Business done 
1902, $12,920.67 ; 1903, $13,896.13 ; 1904, $18,015.92 ; 1905, $28,283.99 ; 1906, $43,270.34. Total 
paid up capital, $5,000. No stock for sale. Real estate owned : Home otfice, 
f20,000 ; four unimproved lots in Anacostia, D. C., $1,000; otherwise invested, 
$20,000. Organized in 1899. In event of sickness or accident a weekly benefit 
of $1.50 to $8, and of death from $12 to $125. 

21. Keystone Aid and Insurance Society, Philadelphia, Pa. Membership 
13,000. Business 1906, $47,580.73; 1907 (six months), $32,463.39. Total capital, 
$10,000. Reserve added to capital increases it to $16,500.29. Real estate owned : 
Home office. "Incorporated July 12, 1902, under the laws of Pennsylvania. 
Has in five years paid out in the conducting of the business over $150,000." 

22. The Hand in Hand Fraternity, Washington, D. C. A fraternal insur 
ance organization, incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia. 
Issues policies from $100 to $500. Collects premiums or assessments. 

23. The Guarantee Aid and Relief Society, Savannah, Ga. Branch offices in 
Atlanta, Americus, Albany, Augusta, Dawson, Cuthbert and Richland, Ga. 
Business done in 1906, $15,971.38. 

24. Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co., Durham, N. C. Membership 20,000, 
with branch offices in about seventy towns throughout North Carolina. In 
1906-7 $15,000 worth of business, including both new and old business. No capi 
tal. " Charter secured during the latter part of 1903. Commenced doing busi 
ness in February, 1904. Very little business was done until 1905, and the 
greatest business done was in 1906. The management has been changed sev 
eral times, and under the present management the company is seeing its 
brightest days. Plans are at present on foot to organize another company, to 
be a stock company (capital stock $100,000), to do exclusively a life business. 
The present company will ultimately be absorbed by the new company." 

25. The Atlanta Mutual Insurance Association, Atlanta, Ga. Branch offices 
in Augusta, Savannah, Columbus, Albany, Macon, Stockbridge, Covington, 

Beneficial and Insurance Societies 


Conyers, Forsyth, Athens, Cartersville, Tallapoosa, Douglasville, Austell and 
Dallas. Dues collected weekly, on the co-operative assessment plan. Business 
done for 1906, $381,373 ; six months in 1907, $160,180. Total capital, $5,000. " The 
company began business September 25, 1905, by depositing $5,000 with the 
State Treasurer and by the expenditure of an additional $8,500 in agency, fees, 
etc. The Association has a membership of 15,000." 

26. Benevolent Aid and Relief Association of Baltimore, Baltimore, Mel. 
Business done in 1906-7, $5,000. 

27. Reliable Mutual Aid and Improvement Society, Philadelphia, Pa. Busi 
ness done in 1906, $25,000; 1907, $30,000. Mutual concern. Real estate owned at 
1440 Lombard street, $5,000. Organized 1902. Cash balance of $1,000. Sick and 
accident benefits from $2.50 to $10 per week; death benefits from $50 to $250. 
Dues collected and payable monthly : Children under 12 years, 50 cents ; adults 
in Class B,$1.00; adults in Class A, $2.00. 

28. Provident Medical Aid and Burial Association of Chicago, Chicago, 111. 
Total capital, $5,000. Incorporated in 1901. 

^ 29. Richmond Beneficial Insurance Co., Richmond, Va.: 

Cash in banks and office $ 9,541 00 

Real estate In the cites of Virginia 10,000 00 

Capital stock paid in 10,000 00 

Deposited with the State of Virginia . . 10,000 00 

Stocks and bonds 10,400 00. 

Annual premium receipts 112,082 81 

Paid to policy-holders in 1906 57,609 64 

The company began business by operating only the combination policy, but 
has for the last three years operated in addition a straight life policy, with 
both an Infantile and an Adult Department. Members between 12 months 
and 60 years pay 5 to 25 cents per week; sick benefits from $1.25 to $6; death 
benefits from $12.50 to $75. The benefits vary with the age of the member and 
the premium paid. Members received in the straight life from 10 to 60 years ; 
benefits paid from $500 down, varying with the age and premium paid. 


Ages Years 




Mos. 12 to 40 

$ 1 25 

$ 20 00 


Yrs. 41 to 50 

1 00 

12 50 


" 51 to 60 


10 00 


Mos. 12 to 40 

2 50 

40 00 


Yrs. 41 to 50 

2 00 

25 00 


" 51 to 60 

1 50 

20 00 


Mos. 15 to 40 


45 00 


Yrs. 41 to 50 

3 00 

37 50 


" 51 to 60 

2 25 

30 00 


Mos. 18 to 40 


60 00 


Yrs. 41 to 50 

4 00 

50 00 


" 51 to 60 

3 00 

40 00 


Mos. 18 to 40 

6 00 

75 00 


Yrs. 41 to 50 

5 00 

60 00 


" 51 to 60 



Paid to Policy-holders in 1906 

14,826 sick and accident claims $ 43,180 60 

450 death claims 14,425* 04 



Economic Co=operation Among Negro Americans 

The company was granted a charter in 1894 with a capital stock of $5,000, and 
has issued during eleven years 90,000 certificates of membership and has paid 
more than $325,000 on account of sick, accident and death claims. The total 
receipts of the company for 1905 exceeded $118,000; the number of policies is 
sued was 11,444. The company employs_about400 young men and women. The 
authorized capital stock of $10,000 has been subscribed and paid. It has~$10,000 
on deposit in the State Treasury as a protection to its policy-holders. The 
company has purchased the three-story brick building now used as the home 
office, and has begun to establish branch offices in a number of the larger 
cities. Its funds have been invested in real estate and other paying invest 

i, 30. Independent Order of St. Luke, Richmond, Va. Founded in the year 
1865. Membership in 1900, 1,000 ; in 1908, 21,200. Total amount of money handled 
in the last eight years, $202,201 .42 ; amount handled from December, 1906, to De 
cember, 1907, $44,634.25. " The expenditures are divided into two classes : Class 
number one, a mortuary fund; class number two, expense fund. The princi 
pal object is to defray the expenses of the mortuary fund. This order has 650 
branch offices in 14 different States. The principal departments of work are : 
Printing, supply, general office. In the fraternal organization we have three j\ 
incorporated bodies: 1. The St. Luke Association, which handles the real 
estate and property to the amount of $30,000. 2. The St. Luke Penny Savings!, 
Bank, an incorporated institution, with a capital stock of $50,000. 3. The St.;\ 
Luke Emporium, a general department store, an incorporated institution with \ 
a capital stock of $25,000, all paid in." This store in 1907 did a business of J 

The total income of insurance societies is difficult to estimate. Those 
which we have reported have, approximately, incomes as follows: 




True Reformers 
Progressive Benefit 
American Life and Benefit 
American Beneficial 
People s Mutual 
Home Protective 

$ 450,000 



$ 400,000 

5 ,000 

Mutual Improvement 
Union Mutual 
United Aid and Benevolent 
Union Benefit . . . 




Toilers Mutual 

2, .I8 ) 

Star of Zion 
North Carolina Mutual 
National Benefit 

43 270 

21 000 

Keystone Aid Society 
Guarantee Relief Association 
Carolina Mutual 
Atlanta Mutual Insurance Co 
St. Luke s 
Benevolent Aid and Relief Ass n 
Reliable Mutual 
Richmond Beneficial Insurance Co. . 







$ 5<.7,441 

This is only a partial report of a selected list, and the real estate re 
port is especially defective. The total income of such societies cannot 
be far from three millions of dollars. They probably hold in real estate 
and other capital (deposited bonds, for instance), at least one million 
dollars in property. 

Secret Societies 


The chief criticism of these societies is the unscientific basis of their 
insurance business. It is a phase of insurance through which all 
groups have at one time or another passed, but it is today largely dis 
credited by the best opinion. Its defect lies in the irregular imposition 
of the burden of insurance, and dependence on lapsed policies to supply 
the needed surplus. Under Massachusetts insurance legislation many 
of these companies could not exist. Nevertheless, there are signs of 
improvement; many societies, like the True Reformers, are gradually 
adopting graduated payments on a scientific age classification and 
others will follow.* 

^There is also wide room for peculation and dishonesty in industrial 
insurance. Protective legislation, especially in the South, is driving 
out the worst offenders, but some still remain. On the whole, however, 
these societies have done three things: 

(a) Encouraged economic co-operation and confidence. 
(b) Consolidated small capital. 
[ (c) Taught business methods. 

We will now take up the kindred secret societies. 

Section 12. Secret Societies 
The Masons 

The Grand Secretary of the Prince Hall Lodge of Massachusetts, 
the mother Grand Lodge of Negro Masonry in America, gives the 
number of Negro Masons as follows: 

African Lodge in its beginning had fifteen members. In 1904 I made as 
careful an investigation as the data in my possession permitted, with the fol 
lowing result : 


Lodges Members 




District of Columbia 



Brought forward 
New Jersey 
New York 
North Carolina 



Rhode Island 
South Carolina 


West Virginia 



Carried forward 





* Note the table on page 100. Some associations have less insurance in force at the 
end of the year than they have written during the year, showing many lapses. Iii 
other cases the figures show a better condition. 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

A conservative estimate of increase for these totals since then, would add 15 
per cent to the number of lodges and 33 per cent to the membership. In the 
Southern States the growth has been phenomenally rapid. The ratio of mem 
bership in the several States remains about the same, and the differences in 
membership where the conditions might be supposed to be the same, are due 
to differences of Grand Lodge policy, one elevating the standard of qualifica 
tions for membership, and the other lowering them. 

In the North American Review for May, 1897, a W. S. Harwood published a 
very interesting paper on Secret Societies in America, white and colored, in 
which he gives total membership, money raised, and disbursements for 
charity. In his table the number of colored Masons is given as 224,000. This 
is excessive. The Encyclopaedia of Fraternities, published in 1899, states the 
number as 55,713. 

The financial status of the various lodges can only be approximately 
stated from the following actual data. The regular income of those 
reporting is $261,751, and they hold $1,005,150 worth of property. Proba 
bly the total income is about $500,000 and the property over $1,000,000: 










$ 1,597 

$ 51,157 

$ 22,055 

$ 23,683 

$ 217,247 

District of Columbia 


"28, d(Jo" 






" 2,300 





" zjm 





M issouri 

" 2,466 



New Jersey 
New York 
North Carolina 







South Carolina 



West Virginia 

To this must be added an account of the insurance features, which 
are usually in a separate department, known as the Masonic Benefit 
Association. The method of operation is by assessment of all members 
on the death of any participant. Reports by States are as follows: 


The insurance feature of the work shows that the reserve fund of $2,555.45 on 
hand in 1898 amounted in 1905 to $38,635.48. Nearly the whole fund is paid out 

Secret Societies 


each year, so that probably over $100,000 has been paid widows and orphans. 
The insurance association had 1,400 members in 1898, and assessments of 10 cents 
per capita at death were made . One hundred dollars was paid at death, unless 
the member s lodge is in arrears for three assessments. This benefit was 
changed in 1906 so as to be $100 for persons dying in the first year of insurance, 
$200 in second year, $300 in third year and $500 thereafter. 


Total insurance paid to widows and orphans, $125,000. 


Receipts E 
.$ 4,187 83 \ 
7,422 90 
4,912 29 
5,600 00 
6,691 20 
8,509 56 
8,381 17 
336 88 . 
14,107 59 
14 817 27 


i 5,187 83 
4,500 00 
5,600 00 
5,568 32 
8,478 90 
8,387 64 


$ 1,359 54 
474 88 

"l, 122" 88 
30 66 
56 47 


1899 Deficit 

12,873 90 
13,689 17 
13,605 00 
18,868 75 

1,233 69 
2,361 79 
4,071 00 
8,223 74 


16,214 21 
. . 27,092 49 



Receipts, 1906 
Claims . 

$ 6,976 08 
$ 4 001 00 


910 44 4,911 44 

Other funds 

$ 2,064 57 
444 65 


Claims unpaid: 


Unapproved and filed. 

$ 2,509 22 

.$ 600 00 

. 2,700 00 3,300 00 







1899. . . 

$ 8,120 

$ 1,451 

$ 1,668 


Assessments are 25 cents per capita, monthly ; benefits $200 and $300 at death. 


In 1905 the Grand Master says: 

"We have 7,000 craftmen in our ranks, and with such a number it is not sur 
prising that we should have fourteen deaths a month, or 168 per annum. The 
present assessment rate is 7 1-7 cents for each death, and fourteen assessments 
are paid for $1; thus we pay $7,250 per month or $87,000 per year. This is the 
greatest amount collected and paid out by any institution operated and con 
trolled by our race variety known to us in the civilized world. This is a 
startling statement, but no doubt true. This institution has $19,132.65 to its 
credit in three banks. They have also recently purchased 1,000 acres of land. 
Governor Vardaman and all the other devils this side of Hades cannot stay 
this kind of prosperity. 7 

112 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Total amount raised 1880-1905 $ 537,120 42 

Claims paid and expenses 519,312 10 

Balance $ 17,808 32 

Largest amount raised in one year. . . 90,524 35 


Receipts Claims paid 

1899 $ 5,101 42 $ 4,505 00 

1905 8,886 80 

North Carolina 

Income, 1905 ... ..$8,500 
Claims paid 8,325 


Income $ 948 57 


Paid out, 10 years $ 150,000 00 

1906, income 11,870 60 

Paid out 4,128 50 

Balance $ 7,24710 

Sinking fund, etc 1,86608 

Cash on hand $ 9,113 18 

This endowment policy is confined to the South and is criticised by 
Northern Masons. Massachusetts thus criticises Mississippi: 

This association pays $500 to its beneficiaries, and costs, in the way of assess 
ments, $1 per month, on an estimated annual death rate of twenty -four per 
thousand for their seven thousand members. At its last annual report in 1904, 
it was able to show a balance to the credit of $19,132.65. Another item of cost 
which does not appear in the estimate follows : 

Members suspended for non-payment 

of dues 666 

Dimitted 184 

Suspended, all other causes 20 

Expelled 12 

Deceased 142 


Reinstated 656 

Affiliated 103 


/The suspension for non-payment of dues and assessments, dimissions and 
deaths are the net losses of the association, which the reinstatements and 
affiliations fail to balance by 233, a loss which must be made good by the con 
tinual accession of new members. It is not possible for this association to be 
permanently successful, and it already shows symptoms of the weakness and 
decay which precedes its death. As it becomes older, and the demands upon 
its resources increase, it will fall to irretrievable ruin, like all other similar 
organizations. If it seeks to avoid the inevitable, two courses only are open, 
either to reduce the benefit or increase the assessments, and this never yet did 
more than to postpone the fatal day. It s a mathematical impossibility 
always to pay out two dollars for each and every dollar paid in. It s a mis 
fortune for any Grand Lodge to identify itself with any such movement. 

Vital statistics for these associations are given only for 1904: 

Secret Societies 113 

Death Rate per 1,000 

(For Year 1904.) 

Alabama 14 

Arkansas 20 

M isslssippi 24 

Missouri 20 

Normal death rate per 1,000 (American experience). 12 

Other enterprises of the Masons are as follows: 

In Alabama $500 was given in $50 scholarships to ten students, and 
$50 to the Old Folks Home at Mobile. 
Florida has an Orphan s Home: 

Receipts, 15)07 g 3,971 74 

Expense 8,201 49 

Balance $ 77025 

Georgia has a Widows and Orphans Home and School at Americus. 
managed by trustees elected by the Grand Lodge. 

The income for 1904 was $3,532.70, and expenses $3,240.78. The Home 
was reported out of debt and worth $25,000. 

Louisiana reports: 

Two notable features in the Grand Master s address were, first, the arrange 
ments made in connection with the fraternity of Odd Fellows for the purchase 
of land and building in the city of New Orleans for their joint occupancy. 
These were purchased for them at a cost of $14,000, the building to be refitted 
at an expense of $6,000, leased for a term of five years, with privilege of pur 
chase at the expiration of lease. The second was the establishment of a 
at Belize, British Honduras, under the jurisdiction of the M. W. Eureka Grand 
Lodge. To this end six brethren journeyed to Belize, and with the aid of a 
resident Mason, of the jurisdiction of Louisiana, entered, passed and raised 
sixty-one candidates, dispensating them under the name Pride of Honduras 
Lodge, No. 30. 

Massachusetts has published Upton s Negro Masonry and erected a 
$500 monument to Prince Hall. 

Illinois has a Masonic Home at Rock Island worth $6,000. 

Maryland and District of Columbia have a Joint Stock Building Asso 

Tennessee has a Widows and Orphans Home. 

Kentucky reports: 

The first Kentucky lodge of colored Masons, Mt. Moriah, No. 1, was organ 
ized by residents of Louisville in 1850, under the jurisdiction of Ohio, and for 
three years met in New Albany, Ind., on account of the black laws, which for 
bade the assembling of free people of color. At the expiration of that time 
the lodge removed to Louisville, and shortly afterwards, while in open com 
munication, their rooms were forcibly entered by the police, twenty-one of 
the brethren arrested, one of whom was Brother Gibson, the Secretary. On 
arriving at the prison, the jailers refused to receive them; the judge of the 
court who was consulted, ordered their discharge upon their personal promise 
to appear for trial the next morning. They went in a body for trial, found 
the court house guarded by the police, were denied admission, and told to go 
their ways, say nothing and they would not again be disturbed. When we add 

114 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

that the jailers and judge were Master Masons, we have given all the explana 
tion necessary. 

Mt. Moriah increased so rapidly in numbers that it was twice divided, and 
the Grand Lodge established in 1866. 

Arkansas reports: 

The forty-two members of 1873 have grown to (1905) 4,995. The Grand Lodge 
took in : 

1873-1883 $ 1,951 93 

1884-1894 11,01,0 09 

1894-1904 15,969 77 

1873-1804 . . .$ 29,969 79 

In twenty -four years the order increased from 14 to 275 lodges. 

Texas reports : 

The Masons in Texas own in fee simple 160 acres of good land, unincumbered. 
It is located in the famous fruit district of Texas and will bring $50 per acre. 
The Grand Lodge has just had erected in Fort Worth a Grand Masonic Temple 
at a cost of $50,000. The Grand Lodge paid out to widows in the last ten years 
$150,000. The local lodges (subordinate) own $100,000 in real property. The 
local lodges pay their sick members more than $30,000 annually and they spend 
$10,000 per year to bury their dead. If we take all the money out of the local 
lodges treasuries and put it in one we would have more than $75,000. We have 
240 working lodges. 

District of Columbia reports: 

District of Columbia 

The first lodge was Social, No. 7, chartered in 1826 by the Grand Lodge of 
Pennsylvania. This was followed in 1845 and 1846, respectively, by the Uni 
versal, No. 10, of Alexandria, D. C., and Felix, No. 17, of Washington, both 
chartered by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. On March 27, 1848, M. W. 
Union Grand Lodge of F. & A. M. for the District of Columbia was established 
by these three lodges. 

Financial statement of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for 
the District of Columbia and its subordinate lodges, 1897-1906: 

Grand Lodge 

Total amount of receipts, 10 years $ 6,836.56 

Total amount of expenditures, 10 years $ 4,594.20 

Total amount expended for charity, 10 years 1,581.34 

Total expended $ 6,175.54 

Fourteen Subordinate Lodges 
Membership 1,045 

Total amount of receipts, 10 years 57,548.38 

Total amount of expenditures, 10 years 32,891.04 

Total amount expended for charity, 10 years 15,996.04 

Total expended $ 48,887.08 

Amount Invested in stock of Masonic Building Association. . .$5,475 

Sum total of receipts in 10 years $ 64,384.94 

Sum total of expenditures, 10 years . 37,485.24 

Sum total expended for charity, 10 years 17,577.38 

Total expended . . $ 55,062.62 

Secret Societies 115 

Iowa has an Orphans Home, with an income of $7,618.50 in 1907. 

The Odd Fellows 

Members of the Philomathean Institute of New York and of the 
Philadelphia Library Company and Debating Society of Philadelphia, 
applied for admission to the International Order of Odd Fellows in 
1842. They were refused on account of their race. Thereupon Peter 
Ogden,a Negro, who had already joined the Grand United Order of Odd 
Fellows of England, securecj a charter for the first Negro American 
lodge, Philomathean, No. 646, of New York, which was set up March 
1, 1843. In 1847 certain white lodges of Pennsylvania sought to join the 
English order, but finding themselves compelled to treat with Ogden, 
demurred. Ogden replied : 

In regard to your first objection, you say you have heard that I was a colored 
man. That is true, and I am not ashamed to own it, and the whole order is 
acquainted with the fact, as well as the Committee of Management at Leeds. 
Those who do not know it personally, know it by the magazines which are 
published in England and America. In regard to the second point in your 
communication, I would not meet you on any other ground than perfect 
equality in every sense of the word, and instructions from the A. M. C. of our 
order in May last to the Committee of Management was that nothing should 
be done that would interfere with the lodges already established here. With 
regard to the effects which an union might have upon what you justly term 
the skeleton of your order, I think the course you are pursuing will very soon 
nail down the coffin-lid, and consign it to oblivion, and the world will be led 
to view it among the things that once were, but are now " no more forever."* 

A bit of prophecy that proved only too true. 

This spirit of independent manliness in its relations with England 
has been kept up. In 1865, for instance, we find this resolution: 

Resolved, That the Sub-committee of Management in America do respect 
fully represent to the Committee of Management, England, that we are grate 
ful for the care which has been exercised by them, yet we do respectfully sub 
mit that there is a feature in the characters forming the group on the P. G. M. 
certificates which is objectionable, and we do therefore submit to your honor 
able body that said objection be removed and that that figure representing the 
colored man be placed on an equal footing with the others."t 

The growth of the order is thus indicated: 

1848 1 lodge 

1868 Splodges 4,009 members 

1886 1,000 " 86,853 

18 ( .6 2,047 " 155,587 

1904 4,648 " 285,931 

The reports of the Grand Secretary are as follows: 

* Brooks, pp. 46, 47. 
f Brooks, p. 95. 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 








$ 109 00 
175 99 
163 18 
899 10 
209 98 
321 37 
286 34 

$ 97 01 
169 90 
120 03 
419 61 
210 84 
250 28 
307 95 

1866. . . 

678 99 
640 77 
684 58 
713 16 
812 97 
1,048 78 
1 869 36 

585 53 
650 58 
625 89 
676 46 
856 62 
778 41 
1 365 83 


416 36 
263 59 
361 67 
350 65 
363 34 
283 62 
329 64 
460 27 
385 11 
581 91 
297 41 

372 28 
280 94 
829 06 
371 02 
359 95 
297 05 
278 06 
532 56 
352 01 
565 14 
973 77 

1873 .. 
1900-1902. . . . 
1902 1904 

2,893 15 
3,000 00 

"16,418 44" 
17,159 64 
24,026 90 
33,517 59 
35,275 64 
37,471 83 
48,727 32 
59 196 (53 

1,768 87 
3,598 56 

"18,625 "62" 
17,086 67 
13,717 59 
25,951 46 

28,948 71 
28,722 53 
34,589 69 
33 843 12 

1864 .. 

365 33 

436 80 

377 07 
412 93 


58,976 06 

37,750 01 

Grand Lodge Reports 




Kentucky (1906) 
Georgia ( 1903-4 ) 
Colorado and Jurisdiction: 

$ 445 98 
1,215 39 

74 48 

$ 401 71 
1,157 45 

45 00 

( 1905) 
Illinois and Wisconsin: 

64 35 

359 61 
370 24 

64 15 

285 25 
126 51 

Missouri ( 1907) 

3,284 00 

2,475 00 

Florida (1906) 
Louisiana (1907) 

1,938 31 
783 62 

1,421 22 
623 99 

Ohio (1907) . . 

1,193 SiS 

1,069 08 

Subordinate Lodge Reports 

(Lodge reports are simply sent to the central office and filed.) 
The following were available: 




Georgia (1904-5) 

$ 27 718 33 

$ 21,594 22 

Ohio (1907) 
Kentucky (1907) 
Colorado and Jurisdiction: 

12,960 88 

13,813 58 
25,503 37 

2,460 47 
8 409 30 

Missouri ( 1907 ) 

10,806 38 

11,825 00 

Illinois and Wisconsin ( 1905) 

16782 90 

8,016 75 
14 7% 18 


42,127 83 

43,104 30 



Sick and 



paid out 

and in fund 

Ohio . . 
Illinois and Wisconsin 
Missoui i 
Colorado and Jurisdiction . 


$ 3,285.50 

$ 329.88 


$ 13,818.53 

ll ,825.66 

$ 61,780.03 

* Data not obtainable. 

Secret Societies 

Subordinate Lodge Reports, Combined 



Sick and 



Whole amount 
property and 
in fund 


$ 2,058.12 

$ 240.51 

$ 2,800.49 




$ 54.00 

















5,261. 03 





6,519. 97 














Ml. 12 






8 418 67 

567 13 

673 05 


1870 (16 lodges failed to report) 

14 8S>7 48 


2,290 98 





294 824 29 

40360 29 







1900-1902 . . 



The condition of the order in various years is thus reported: 


Philomathean, New York 

Hamilton, New York . 
Unity, Philadelphia. . . 
Philomathean, Albany 

Philomathean, Poughkeepsie. 


$ 2,038 10 



1,543 39 


. .. Balance 

$ 48971 
210 00 
402 50 

$ 620 76 
200 64 
1,000 00 


100 (X) 


Expenditures .... 

...$ 23800 
208 00 

Balance . 

30 00 


115 00 


" There were 1,000 lodges in America, 112 Past Grand Masters Councils, 404 
Households of Ruth and 47 Patriarchies. There were 36,853 members and 9,007 
past officers; 3,241 members had been relieved, 415 brothers buried, 5,54 widows 
relieved, 404 orphans assisted. The amount paid to sick members was $37,757.82 ; 
paid for funerals, $21,002.45; to widows, $6,957.20; for charity, $4,326.95; paid for 
other objects, $44,122.50; the whole amount paid out, $114,066.92; amount in 
vested, $100,993.15; value of property, $172.816.90; balance in funds, $69,317.55; 
invested, value of property and in funds, $343,197.70." 


" During the years 1893-4 there were 339 new branches opened. Twenty-four 
thousand, twenty-six dollars and ninety cents was received by the Sub-com 
mittee of Management for taxes and supplies, and the surplus fund increased 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

from $5.49 to $10,309.31. Instead of having to borrow money at exorbitant 
rates, as the last S. C. of M. were forced to do, the order has ever since carried 
a large surplus fund in its treasury." 


Whole number of Lodges in good standing 

Whole number of Households In good standing 
Number of P. G. M. Councils in good standing . . 

Number of Patriarchies in good standing 

Number of District Lodges in good standing 

Total active branches 

Estimated number of members in Lodges 

Estimated number of members in Households. . 

Estimated number of members in Councils 

Estimated number of members In Patriarchies 

Total membership in all branches 








Whole No. of brothers and sisters relieved for the term 11,851 

Whole number buried during the years 1895-6 1,434 

Amount paid to sick during the years 1895-6 $ 198,423.82 

Amount paid to widows, orphans and charity 40,360,29 

Whole amount invested, property and funds 1,867,597.94 

The city of Philadelphia in 1906 had 19 lodges, with 1,167 members; 
75 members received sick benefits, 7 death benefits, 8 widows were re 
lieved and 6 widows and orphans buried. 

Expenditures were : 

Widows and charity 

958 50 
197 26 

Other expenses . 

....$ 2,33374 
.... $ 3,047 30 


... $ 5,881 04 


6,732 54 

Value of property 
Balance in funds 
Total property of all kinds 

.... 27,615 50 
4,387 18 
.... 45,82711 

Statistics, Tenth Session, 1900 

Whole number of active Lodges enrolled 

Whole number of Household of Ruth 

Whole number of P. G. M. Councils 

Whole number of Juvenile Societies 

Whole number of Patriarchies 

Whole number of District Grand Lodges 

Whole number of District Households 

Total number of all branches. . . 

Total membership in all Lodges 

Total membership In all Households 

Total membership in all Patriarchies 

Total membership in all Juvenile Societies 

Total membership in all Councils 

Total membership of all branches 

Whole number of members relieved in 1898-9. . . . 
Whole number of widows and orphans relieved 

Whole number of members buried 

Total amount paid for sick and funerals 

Value of funds and property of the order 





. 162,350 




. $ 360,540 
. 2,150,500 

On the occasion of the Forty-eighth General Meeting 1906, held at 
Richmond r Va., the orator of the occasion said : 

Secret Societies 119 

u ln the past six years ending with the beginning of this B. M. C., after 
spending in round numbers a million dollars, providing for the sick, burying 
the deceased, relieving the widows and orphans and meeting other just obli 
gations, the order represents investments that have passed the three million 
dollar mark. 

"A certain reliable Philadelphia paper, not connected with our order, stated 
in a recent issue words similar to these : The G. U. O. of O. F. is erecting in 
this city a hundred thousand dollar building owned and wholly controlled by 
Negroes on the American continent. That we teach industry and frugality, 
that we encourage the brethren to lay aside for the gloomy day, as a means 
to dry the widow s tear, the mourner s heart to cheer/ our progressive En 
dowment Departments are living evidences/" 

The membership was as follows: 

Whole number of active Lodges enrolled 4,643 

Whole number of active Households enrolled 2,636 

Whole number of active P. G. M. Councils enrolled 274 

Whole number of active Juvenile Societies 395 

Whole number of Patriarchies 142 

Whole number of D. G. Lodges 89 

Whole number of District Households. . . 26 

Total number of all branches 8,155 

Increase over last report 1,641 

Numerical Strength 

Total membership in all Lodges 186,108 

Total membership in all Households 79,343 

Total membership in all Councils 5,210 

Total membership in all Patriarchies 3,025 

Total membership in all Juveniles 12,245 

Total membership in all branches 285,931 

Increase over last report 50,190 

The financial statement 1893-1906 is as follows: 

Receipts 1893-1894.. $24,02690 

Disbursements .1893-1994 13,717 59 

Balance cash $10,309 81 

Receipts 1895-1896 $33,517 59 

Disbursements . . 1895-1896 25,951 46 

Balance cash 7,566 13 

Receipts 1897-1898 $35,275 64 

Disbursements . . 1897-1898 . . 28,948 71 

Balance cash 7,326 93 

Receipts 1899-1900 $85,471 83 

Disbursements . .1899-1900 28,722 53 

Balance cash 6,748 80 

Receipts 1900-1902 . . $48,72732 

Disbursements . .1900-1902 . . 34,589 69 

Balance cash 14.137 * 

Receipts 1902-1904 $52,196 63 

Disbursements . .1902-1904 33,843 i; 

Cash balance 18,353 51 

Receipts 1904-1906 $58,976 06 

Disbursements . .1904-1906 37,750 

Balance cash... S 21, 226 05 


Economic Co=operation Among Negro Americans 


Cash balance on hand August SI, 1904 $40,811 47 

Receipts from all sources during term 58,976 06 

Total $99,787 53 

Disbursements for all purposes 37,750 01 

Balance cash $62,087 52 

Details of Receipts, 1904=1906 

Receipts from Lodges $ 40,734 OS 

Receipts from Households 13,964 47 

Receipts from Councils. 

Receipts from Patriarchies 

Receipts from District Grand Lodges. 
Receipts from District Households . . . 

Receipts from Juvenile Societies 

Receipts from interest on deposits. . , 
Receipts from Odd Fellows 1 Journal . . 
Receipts from rentals 

Total . . 

1,398 54 
161 88 
75 23 
106 79 

77 26 

1,907 05 

500 (X) 

150 81 

$58,076 06 

Disbursements, 1904=1906 

Odd Fellows Journal $ 11,823 17 

Salaries and clerk hire 10,167 05 

Traveling expenses of the S. C. M. and Grand Auditors. 5,787 70* 

Postage, express charges, telephone service 2,767 09 

Office rent, gas, ice and laundry 640 70 

Watson & Hazlehurst 2,500 00 

Committee of Management, England, and custom duties 1,211 3ft 
Officers, 12 B. M. C., 3 Grand Household and 17 Tri-annual 

Conference 758 50" 

Miscellaneous purposes 2,094 44 


$37,750 01 

Total Receipts 

Total receipts $ 57,018 20 

Interest on deposits 1,807 05 

Rentals . . 150 81 

Grand total $58,976 06 

Cash Expenses 



..$ 1,151 66 
. 1,732 18 

Brought forward . . . 


.$19,604 25 

731 34 

978 47 




. . 1,565 94 
. . 1,477 29 

. 2,347 89 

892 55 




. 1,543 87 
. 2,688 34 

. 2,862 68. 
611 01 


812 60 
493 18 

March .%. 

. 1,990 95 
1,035 69 


927 53 


. 1,162 79 

June. . . 

563 81 
6,692 89 


. 1,503 17 
566 95 


947 23 


. 2,475 5S 

Carried forward. . 

...$ 19.604 25 

Total . . 

.$37,750 01 


Balance on hand August 81, 1904 

Receipts for term, 1904-1906, from all sources. 


Disbursements for all purposes 

Cash balance August 31, 1906 . 

.$40,811 47 
. 58,976 06 

$99,787 58 
. 37,750 01 
.$62,037 52 

Secret Societies 

The funds of the order are deposited thus 

Union Trust Co, (savings fund) 

Union Trust Co. (check fund) 

Provident Life and Trust Co 

Real Estate Trust Co 

Consolidation National Bank 

In hands of treasurer 


Detailed reports are : 


. 18,019 82 
. 25,058 76 
. 5,683 06 
. 12,070 01 
69 88 
. 6,1:35 1)9 

.$62,087 52 





Number of Lodges 

Number of Members 

Number of Broth 
ers Relieved 

Widows and Or 
phans Relieved \ 

Paid for Sick and 
Funeral Benefits 

Paid to Widows 
and Orphans 

Value of Property 

Cash in Hand 

: jfe: : 5o Value of all Prop - 
: : g: : ~S, erty and Funds 

: i^: : ix 

Pennsylvania .... 
New York 
New Jersey 
Rhode Island 
North Carolina . . . 
South Carolina 










i. : ; 






1 1 


11, OSS 














$ 10,636.33 
5,246 27 




$ 621.56 
600. 00 

95l .66 


$ 54,154.37 

82,358. 27 

55,80o .6o 

$ 20,207.55 

l,25l .77 


12,063 . 64 



l ,826.07 





West Indies 

Kentucky. . . 
Dist. of Columbia. 
West Indies 
West Virginia 

62,b(lo .00 







4, (X 0.00 
1,97ft 97 


W. C. of Africa.... 
Indian Territory. . 
West Indies 





1 l 
















Knights of Pythias 

The order was organized by J. H. Rath bone and others, in the city of Wash 
ington, D. C., February 19, 1864. 

At the session of the Supreme Lodge of the Knights of Pythias of the 
World, held at Richmond, Va., March 8, 1869, an application for a charter from 
a body of colored citizens of Philadelphia, Pa., was refused on account of their 
color. Nevertheless, several. Colored men, E. A. Lightfoot, T. W. Stringer 


Economic Co=operation Among Negro Americans 

and others, were afterwards regularly initiated into the mysteries of the 
order of Page, Esquire, Knight, etc., in a regular lodge, working under the 
control of the Supreme Lodge of Knights of Pythias of the World. 

Thereupon a Supreme Grand Council of the Knights of Pythias, to be known 
as the Supreme Lodge of North America, South America, Europe, Asia and 
Africa, was instituted for the purpose of extending its benefits to all persons, 
without distinction of race or color. Lightfoot Lodge, No. 1, in the city of 
Vicksburg, State of Mississippi, March 26, 1880 (the date of the Pythian period), 
was the first. 

There was a re-incorporation, with a slight change of name, in 1908. 
In his address before the Supreme Lodge, in 1905, the Supreme Chan 
cellor said : 

"Up to this time I think we have demonstrated the Negro s ability to suc 
cessfully conduct an organization with a representative form of government. 
The history of our order for the past few years is known to all of you. The 
manner in which we have risen from nothing, as it were, a few years ago to 
the high and respected position we occupy today, with 26 Grand Lodges, 1,536 
subordinate lodges, 68,462 members, with $211,899.46 in our various treasuries, 
,$33,268.37 of which belongs to the Supreme Lodge itself, is the wonder of the 
age. With this growth and prosperity come great responsibilities. I wish to 
say frankly, as I have said before, that my great interest in the order is due to 
the fact that I consider it one of the greatest agencies now employed in the 
work of uplifting the race to which we belong." 

The membership has grown as follows: 





1903 1905 


District of Columbia 


" 466 







" issT 




"i ,057 








New Jersey 

New York 
North Carolina 







West Virginia 
Indian Territory 
Supreme Jurisdiction 

* Total 





These are official totals and do not in all cases agree with the columns. 

Expenditures and property are thus reported : 

Secret Societies 


33 : :88 :S8 :S :8388$88SS 

II i ill i|| ii ;f S8s$iii8 

CO . GN i* . i I . 

lllsll : 1 





on (N 
c; -M 

88 : :S88S888$883888S88 

II iSilllifclilillilii 

:8S :! 

:s ;< 


:8 :^S S 

888 igiS i8 iS38S 

8 8S :8 

)<> Q 

!3 :1 

il S 

124 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Consolidated statements for the whole country are as follows: 

Financial Statement, Supreme Lodge, Knights of Pythias 





Total per capita tax 

$ 184 50 

$ 825 12 

$ 1,248 20 

$ 1,967 45 

Total biennial tax 
Total supplies (all sources^ 
Uniform Rank Department 
Total Endowment 

675 00 
1,677 89 
217 00 
2,D92 14 

1,100 00 
2,944 77 
2,083 92 
8,601 77 

1,582 50 
5,225 29 
8,667 35 
10,872 19 

1,675 00 
7,331 74 
4,281 35 

18,805 71 

Grand total receipts 
Amount Endowment paid 

5,746 03 

15,505 58 

22,590 53 

189,875 37 
70,039 44 

34,061 25* 
328,014 38 
153,392 07 

Amount Endowment funds (on 

195,217 05 

Amount Endowment claims un 
Grand and Supreme Lodge funds 
on hand 
Property (Grand Lodges) 
Property (Subordinate Lodges).. 

14,142 12 

16,584 41 
31,233 30 
275,334 85 

* Except Temple fund. Of. infra. 

The Endowment Department insures lives at the following rates 

Table of Monthly Payments 



. 55c 

27 ... 


. 60c 
. 65c 



A mount 

$ .80 

44. .. 




. 55c 


. . . , . 70c 




42 ... 




It pays the following sums: 

In case of death during first year s membership $ 100 

In case of death during second year s membership 200 

In case of death during third year s membership 300 

In case of death during fourth year s membership 400 

In case of death during fifth year s membership. .. 500 

The military department ("Uniform Rank") reports in 1905: 

" In my report to you at the last session of the Supreme Lodge, our table 
showed the inspection of fourteen States, comprising 70 companies, while 
today we report over 100 companies. We then reported 2,970 members. Today 
we report eighteen States and 3,665 members. Then we had in the treasury 
$4,694.98, while today we report $9,793.74. We then reported valuation of prop 
erty at $33,731.50, today $55,522.16. We then reported 160 companies, while today 
we find from a partial report over 190, most of which are fully equipped, 
which makes us today have the largest, most complete and equipped military 
body known to the race." 

An assessment of 20 cents per member a year was laid for building a 
National Pythian Temple and Sanatorium for the order. From this a 
total of $19,522.58 was raised last year. 

The United Brothers of Friendship 

The United Brothers of Friendship was organized at Louisville, Ky., 
August 1, 1861, first as a benevolent and later as a secret order. In 1905 

Secret Societies 


the following receipts and disbursements were reported by the Grand 
Lodge : 


For Widows and Orphans . . 
For Home and Business Fund 

For Grand Lodge taxes 

For National Grand Lodge taxes 

For sale of supplies 

For interest on United States bonds 
For loan . . 

Total receipts for one year 


For Widows and Orphans 

For United States bonds 

For printing and supplies 

For Grand Lodge contingent 

For miscellanies 

For Mutual Aid expenses 

For the Grand Master s office 

For the Grand Secretary s office 

For the Grand Treasurer s office 

For National Grand Lodge taxes 

Total disbursements for one year 

.$28,176 99 

$17,370 30 

. 4,208 73 

. 1,217 31 

496 99 

750 10 

342 60 

390 33 

200 00 


300 00 

$25,412 m 

The State organizations report as follows 





ment as 


Cash from 



$ 30,000 

$ 5,000 

$ 24,000 

$ 20,000 
7 4 000 









Liberia (Africa) 











The official totals are: 

Number juveniles 10,000 

Total males 22,500 

Total females 41,1*00 

Total real property $483,000 

Total personal property 45,000 

Total endowment 192,(MK- 

Total endowment paid 146,500 

Cash on hand 80,700 

Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World 
(Howard Branch) 

Organized 1899. 

Number of lodges 61. 

The eighth annual report says as to the origin of the colored Elk. 

126 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

"Like all other secret and benevolent organizations that have been organ 
ized, the white order of Elks will not permit colored persons to become mem 
bers. But there are colored Elks now. How and where they got their secret 
work is known to many white Elks of this country. Some may try to depre 
cate the colored Elks, but we have the same ritual that the white Elks have. 
Our membership has grown to over 5,000. The letter *I stands for * Improved. 
The difference between white and colored Elks is this: The white order is 
kno\vn as the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. Ours is known as the 
Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World. " 

The Secretary reported $1,217.38 as the income of the Grand Lodge 
and these additional facts: 

Sixty-one lodges report a total membership of 3,740. 

Thirty-nine lodges report an increase of 1,249 members. 

Forty-nine lodges report $7,333.35 in the bank. 

Thirty-two lodges report property to the value of $6,124.85. 

Twenty-eight lodges spent in charity $3,079.75. 

Fifteen lodges report 25 deaths. Of the 80 lodges on the rolls 61 have remit 
ted taxes, some for one, more for two and others for three and four quarters. 
Thirty States are represented in our jurisdiction and 28 new lodges have been 
added to our number. 

The Galilean Fishermen 

The Grand United Order of Galilean Fishermen was organized in 
Baltimore, Md., in 1856. The order has at least $250,000 worth of real 
estate. It has a bank at Hampton, Va., with a paid up capital of 
$8,695.79. The insurance department has issued 16,800 policies since 
1902, and paid $48,900 in death claims. It has a surplus of $16,000. The 
printing plant does a business of $2,500 a year. The joining fee is $4.50 
and the monthly dues from 35c to 60c. Sick benefits of $1.50 to $6 a 
week and death benefits of $50 to $200 are paid. 

The chief of the other Negro secret orders are: 

Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World (Brook 
lyn Branch). 
Knights of Tabor. 
Benevolent Order of Buffaloes. 
Ancient Order of Forresters. 
The Good Samaritans. 

Sons and Daughters of Jacob. 
Seven Wise Men. 
Knights of Honor, etc., etc * 

*The only secret organization in Arkansas of national repute, which has its origin 
in the State, is the Mosaic Templars of America. It was conceived and had its birth 
from the fertile brain of two Negroes, O. W. Keatts and J. E. Bush, in 1882, in the city 
of Little Rock. Today this organization is known in nearly every Southern State in 
the Union and numbers its members by^the thousands. They have expended in cash 
for the relief of the widows, orphans of deceased members in the past twenty years, 
$175,000: paid to its policy-holders $51,009, and at their last session in Shreveport, La., 
July 25, 1902, reported a property valuation of $225,000. National Negro Business 
League, 1902, p. 105. 

Secret Societies 127 

That Negroes are aware of the faulty economic basis of assessment 
insurance is shown by the speech of John W. Strauther of Mississippi, 
before the Negro Business League of 1904: 

Fraternal insurance is that class of insurance which levies an assessment 
upon members to create a fund to pay the families of the deceased members 
an endowment or death benefit and no profit therefrom. 

Among Negroes it is the outgrowth of excessive rates charged by the old 
line insurance companies w r hich compelled the poorer classes to organize into 
these benevolent associations and attach thereto insurance for the members 
which would give relief to the families at their death. 

This branch of insurance is not held in high favor by many people from the 
fact, it is supposed, that the fraternal order that carries fraternal insurance 
takes too great a risk and, therefore, the increased mortality would increase 
the burden of tax upon the membership and thereby bankrupt the institu 
tion ; but we should not become discouraged, because it is an established fact 
that fraternal insurance is a success and it has done much for the advance 
ment of the Negro in this country. 

You will remember that the Negro was excluded from the old line compa 
nies on account of color, and, therefore, it was impossible for the Negro to give 
protection to his family and loved ones as it was the great privilege of other 
Americans. But there were other causes, prominently among them was the 
high premiums charged, which made it impossible to one working for small 
wages to pay the premiums charged and meet his other obligations. 

These conditions have long since passed and it is merely due to fraternal 
insurance that has compelled the old line companies to accept the Negro and, 
in many instances, they have employed colored agents, and in other instances, 
the whites have catered to colored business through their white agents. 

To give you a faint idea of what the Negro is doing in fraternal insurance, 
I will call your attention to the report of the Insurance Commissioner of my 
State for the year s business ending December 31, 1903. 

Twenty fraternal orders reported the number of certificates in force as 
32,562, amounting to $5,043,010.66. The total paid by the above fraternal in 
surance orders is $157,616.82, leaving a balance in the. treasury of these associa 
tions $16,767.71. I will mention, the most prominent among these institutions* 
the Masonic Benefit Association, which paid last year $69,306.60. This amount 
was raised by an assessment of 7K per capita, a total cost per annum of $12.00 
per member; since the organization of the association in 1880, they have paid 
over $650,000. 

The Odd Fellows Benefit Association, organized in 1880, paid last year $26,- 
420.71, having paid over $500,000 since organization. This amount is raised by 
an assessment of 16 2-3 per cent or $12 per annum per member. The Independ 
ent Order of Sons and Daughters of Jacob of America, paid $21,583.89; the En 
dowment Bureau of the Knights of Pythias paid $18,993 on assessments of $1.50 
or $6 per annum, having paid in all since organization in 1894, $200,000. Judg 
ing from the amount of business done in Mississippi, we believe we can safely 
say that the business of fraternal insurance among the Negroes in this coun 
try amounts to over a million dollars annually.* 

The Masons appear to hold at least one million dollars worth of 
property and have an annual income of a half million dollars a year. 
The Odd Fellows claim two and one-half million dollars worth of 

* National Business League, 1901, pp. iHJ-97. 

128 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

property and an income between a quarter and a half of a million. 

The Pythians have $300,000 worth of property and an income of possi 
bly a quarter of a million. The Brothers of Friendship claim $500,000 in 
property, and other associations may add a half million. From these 
figures it seems that Negro secret orders in the United States own 
between four and five million dollars worth of property and collect 
each year at least $1,500,000. 

From the beneficial societies and secret orders have arisen various 
benevolent or semi-benevolent enterprises, such as homes, orphanages, 
hospitals and cemeteries. 

Section 13. Cooperative Benevolence 
(a) Homes and Orphanages 

There are between 75 and 100 homes and orphanages in the United 
States supported wholly or largely by Negroes. A list of 57 follows: 

1. Colored Orphan Asylum, Oxford, N. C. 

2. Masonic Home, Columbus, Ga. 

3. Masonic Orphans Home, Beiinettsville, N. C. 

4. Aged Men and Women s Home, Baltimore, Md. Property, $3,000; in 
mates, 16; State aid, $250. 

5. St. Francis Orphan Asylum, Baltimore, Md. Property, $60,000; in 
mates, 94. 

6. Bethel Old Folks Home, Baltimore, Md. Property, $10,000; inmates, 16. 

7. Carter s Old Folks Home, Atlanta, Ga. 

8. Old Folks Home, Augusta, Ga. 

9. Friends Orphan Asylum, Richmond, Va. 

10. Home for the Aged, Cleveland, Ohio. Income, $1,209.44; expenditures, 

11. Georgia Colored Industrial and Orphan s Home, Macon, Ga. Inmates, 
35; income, $4,350; property, $10,000. New building nearly ready. 

12. General State Reformatory, Macon, Ga. 

Receipts, 1906 

Balance * 291 60 

Cash donations from the public 3,425 70 

Other donations, value 399 30 

Amount of produce raised on farm by in 
mates.. 41500 

Total $ 4,531 60 

13. Maponie Home, Rock Island, 111. Income, $960. 

14. Old People s Home, Chicago, 111. Inmates, 7; income, $900. New apart 
ments nearly ready. 

15. Widows and Orphans Home, Jackson, Miss. 

16. Orphans Home, Huntington, W.Va. Inmates, 65. The State has been 
paying two teachers. Ten years. 

17. Old Ladies and Orphans Home, Memphis, Tenn. 

18. Old Folks and Orphans Home, Memphis, Tenn. Property, $15,000. 

19. Jenkins Orphanage, Courtland, Va. Seven years. 

20. Shiloh Orphanage, Augusta, Ga. 

21. Masonic Widows and Orphans Home, Nashville, Tenn. Property, 

Cooperative Benevolence 129 

22. Orphanage, Gilmer, Texas. 

23. Orphanage, Austin, Texas. 

24. Jenkins Orphanage, Charleston, S. C. 

25. Home for Aged and Infirm Colored Persons, Philadelphia, Pa. Property, 
$400,000; income, $20,000. Sheltered 558 old people, 1864-1899. 

2& Colored Orphans Asylum, Cincinnati, Ohio. Property, $100,000; endow 
ment fund, $25,000; income, $2,010 ; inmates, 72; receipts, $3,123.45. 


Males Females Tola I 

Number remaining May 1, 1906 19 16 35 

Admitted 19 18 87 

Placed In homes 5 13 18 

Died 2 2 

Oared for during year 88 34 72 

Remaining : 33 19 52 

Total income from Negroes about $300. 

27. Crawford s Old Folks Home, Cincinnati, Ohio. Property, $25,000. 

28. Home for Aged Colored Women, Cincinnati, Ohio. Property, $4,000. 

29. Hannah Grey Home, New Haven, Conn. Inmates, 5; income, $200. 

30. Universal Progressive School for Orphans, Baltimore, Md. Property, 
$1,950; inmates, 35. 

31. Old Folks Home, Kansas City, Mo. 1889 (?). 

32. Children s Orphans Home, Kansas City, Mo. Inmates, 100; expendi 
tures, $65 per month. 

33. Rescue Home, Kansas City, Mo. 

34. Baptist Orphanage, Baltimore, Md. Inmates 25. 

35. Orphanage, Richmond, Ya. 

36. Weaver Orphan Home for Colored Children, Hampton, Va. : 

Cash receipts for 1905 $ 947 50 

Donations, for 1906 $ 643 14 

Received from parents 267 00 

Sales of articles 14 12 

Miscellaneous 2850 95276 

Total $1,90026 

37. Gad. S. Johnson s Orphanage, Macon, Ga. Inmates, 25; income, $1,500. 

38. Home for Parentless Children, Petersburg, Va. 

39. Maryland Home for Friendless Children, Baltimore, Md. Property, 
$2,000; inmates, 52; State aid, $250. 


Brought forward from the year 1905 $ 269 47 

Loans 850 00 

Mortgage 1,950 00 

City aid 826 20 

State aid 500 00 

Sale of property 1,000 00 

Legacy 97 50 

General contributions, etc 648 71 

Total $6,141 88 

40. Amanda Smith Orphanage, Harvey, 111. 

41. Iowa Negroes Home for Aged and Orphans, Des Moines, Iowa. 
*42. St. Louis Colored Orphans Home, St. Louis, Mo. 

4a Carrie Steele Orphanage, Atlanta, Ga. Inmates, 97; income, $2,200 ($100 
from Negroes directly ; the balance from taxes on both races.) 

130 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

44. Reed Home and School, Covington, Ga.: 

Home building and site on which it stands $ 3,000 

Farm within city limits 8,500 

Brick machine and tools 1,500 

Saw mill 750 

Live stock 500 

Farm implements 150 

Library 500 

Total $ 9,600 

45. Bridges Orphanage, Macon, Ga. 

46. State Protective Home and Mitchell Hospital, Leavenworth, Kansas. 
Income, $2,320.60, during 1883. 

47. Home for Destitute Children and Aged Persons, San Antonio, Texas- 
Inmates, 18. 

Two Years Income 

Total amount collected by subscription $ 114 45 

Total amount of special donations 120 82 

Total amount collected for building purposes 68 55 

Total amount from Bexar county and Board of Children. 794 20 

Total amount from tables and entertainments 173 16 

Total amount collected from railway employees 85 65 

Total amount collected from churches 1 ID 

Total collected for two years $1,564 22 

The property recently bought for the Home was contracted for on the fol 
lowing terms: One hundred dollars cash, the balance, $900, to be paid in 
monthly installments with 8 per cent interest during the next six years. 

48. Old Folks Home, Hampton, Va. 

49. Widows and Orphans Home, Vicksburg, Miss. 

50. " Tents " Old Folks Home, Hampton, Va. 

51. Home for Aged Colored Women, Providence, R. I. 

52. Working Girls Home, Providence, R. I. 

53. Old Folks Home, Columbus, Ohio. 

54. Day Nursery, Columbus, Ohio. 

55. Old Folks Home, Westham,Va. Inmates, 6; income, $10,000, for home 
and farm. (See True Reformers, page 104). 

56. Reformatory for Boys, Broadneck, Hanover county. Va. (State.) 

57. Rescue Home for Orphans and Old Folks, Jacksonville, Fla. 

(b) Hospitals 

There are about 40 hospitals conducted by Negroes, including the 
Freedmen s Hospital of Washington, D. C., which the Government 

A list of 31 hospitals follows: 

1. Mercy Hospital and Nurse Training School, Ocala, Fla. 

2. Mercy Hospital and School for Nurses, Philadelphia, Pa.- Total income 
to November, 1907, $6,474.02; patients, 4,232; received from Negroes, $4,390.69. 
and from the State, $5,000 every two years. 

3. Freedmen s Hospital, Washington, D. C. Patients under care, 2,723; re 
ceipts and expenditures for the year, $53,000. 

4. Frederick Douglass Memorial Hospital and Training School, Philadel 
phia, Pa. Patients ending November, 1907, 6,657 ; income, $8,219 for mainten 
ance ; income for building, $10,400. 

Cooperative Benevolence 131 

5. Mitchell Hospital, Leavenworth, Kansas. Income, $2,320.60 during the 
year 1883. 

6. Taylor Lane Hospital, Columbia, S. C. 

7. Mercy Hospital, Nashville, Tenn. Patients, 394 ; total income, $1,873, all 
from Negroes. 

8. Douglass Hospital and Training School, Kansas City, Kansas. Patients 
last year, 81 ; income, $5,858. 

9. Harris Sanatorium, Mobile, Ala. Patients last year, 25. 

10. Colored Hospital, Petersburg, Va. 

11. Provident Hospital, Baltimore, Md. Property, $15,000. 

12. Provident Hospital, Chicago, 111. 
18. Lincoln Hospital, Durham, N. C. 

14. Lamar Hospital, Augusta, Ga. 

15. Georgia Infirmary, Savannah, Ga. 

16. Charity Hospital, Savannah, Ga. 

17. Burrus Sanatorium, Augusta, Ga. 

18. Colored Hospital, P^vansville, Ind. 

19. Citizens National Hospital, Louisville, Ky. 

20. Provident Hospital, St. Louis, Mo. 

21. State s Hospital, Winston, N. C. 

22. Good Samaritan Hospital, Charlotte, N. C. 

23. Colley s Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio. 

24. Nurse Training School, Charleston, S. C. 

25. Hairston Infirmary, Memphis, Tenn. 

26. Dr. J. T. Wilson s Infirmary, Nashville, Tenn. 

27. Colored Hospital, Dallas, Texas. 

28. Richmond Hospital, Richmond, Va. 

29. Woman s Central League Hospital, Richmond, Va. 

30. Slater Hospital, Winston-Salem, N. C. 

31. Lincoln Hospital and Home, New York, N. Y. 

(c) Cemeteries 

Nearly every town in the South has a colored cemetery owned and 
conducted by Negroes. There are a few exceptions, as in Augusta, Ga. : 

"The colored cemetery is owned and controlled by the city. Any one who 
wishes a lot can purchase it from the city. Lots are owned by all of the be 
nevolent societies and families who are able to pay for them. 

"A keeper of the cemetery is annually elected by council, with an assistant, 
who is colored, and who has the keeping of the colored cemetery assigned 

The country districts are poorly provided for: 

"The colored cemetery here (Brunswick, Ga.,) was given the colored people 
by the city: the keeper is paid $15 per month by the city; the people pay $2 
for a grave to be dug. The cemetery is here crowded to overflowing ; the peo 
ple are contemplating buying a piece of ground about five miles out for a ceme 
tery. The others, far out in the country and on the islands, are generally in 
church yards or in the woods no particular place. Oft-times the undertaker 
can scarcely get to the place for the weeds. Nevertheless, if a person dies here 
in Brunswick, who lived once in the country or across the river, the body must 
be taken at all hazards to the old burying grounds, even if the place is thickly 
covered with weeds and can scarcely be found." 

132 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

There are probably 500 Negro cemeteries owned, of which the list 
below is simply an indication of their number and situation: 

1. Baptist Cemetery, Paris, Texas. 

2. Colored Cemetery, Tuskegee, Ala. 

3. The Ashbury Cemetery, Baltimore, Md. 

4. The Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Baltimore, Md. 

3. The Greenwood Cemetery, Paris, Texas. Total business done, $406; to 
tal paid up capital, $500. 

7. Colored Cemetery, Kittrell, N. C. 

8. Benevolent Cemetery, Dallas, Texas. 

9. Colored Cemetery, Austin, Texas. 

10. " " Waco, Texas. 

11. " " Ft. Worth, Texas. 

12. The Masons Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas. 

13. Colored Knights of Pythias Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas. 

14. Odd Fellows Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas. 

15. Colored V. B. F. s Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas. 
1(5. Colored Cemetery, High Point, N. C. 

17. " " Greensboro, " 

18. " " Raleigh, " 

19. " " Lexington, " 

20. " " Lauriuburg, " 

21. " " Wilmington, " 

22. " " Charlotte, " 

23. " " Thomasville, " 

24. " " Abbeville, S. C. 

25. " " " 

26. " Little Hock, Ark. 

27. Pine Bluff, " 

28. " Hot Springs, " 

29. " " Houston, Texas. 

30. " " " " 

31. " " Beaumont, " 

32. " " Jefferson, " 

33. " Palestine, " 

34. " " Marshall, " 

35. " Elizabeth City, N. C. 

36. McCoy Cemetery, Memphis, Tenn. Total capital, $7,00X7, 

37. Union-Forever Cemetery, Memphis, Tenn. 

38. New South Fort Pickering Cemetery, Memphis, Tenn. 

39. Providence Cemetery, Petersburg, Va. 

40. East View " " " 

41. Greenwood " Nashville, Tenn. 

42. Louisville Cemetery Association, Louisville, Ky. 

43. Toussaint L Ouverture Cemetery, Franklin, Tenn. 

44. Colored Cemetery, Shelby ville, Tenn. 

45. " " Winchester, " 

46. " " Clarksville, " 

47. Zion Memphis, " 

48. Colored " Lexington, Ky. 

49. " r Ga. Partners, 5. Cemetery for special 
families. Capital, $150. 

Cooperative Benevolence 


50. Brothers and Sisters of Love, 
$600. Fourteen years: 

Paid sick Benefits 
Paid for burial 

-, Ga. Partners, 150; capital, 

1906 1907 

....$200 $225 

..100 75 

51. Colored Cemetery, Raleigh, N. C. 

The Raleigh business League is an organization composed of citizens of 
Raleigh and surroundings who are interested in public improvements and 
are at this time engaged in an effort to improve the city cemetery for colored 
people, and also to form a new cemetery association for the purpose of enlarg 
ing and improving the old one and building a suitable structure to protect the 
patrons of the cemetery from inclement weather while engaged in burial ser 

52. Summit View Cemetery, Guthrie, Okla, 

53. Colored Cemetery, Athens, Ala. 

54. " Albany, Ga. 

55. Olive " Philadelphia, Pa. Eight acres, worth $100,000; 900 lot 
owners. About fifty years old. 

56. Lebanon Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pa. Worth $75,000 and about fifty 
years old. 

57. Merion Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pa. Twenty-one acres, worth $30,000 
and about eight years old. 

58. Fraternal Burying Society, Philadelphia, Pa. 

59. Greenwood Cemetery, " " 

60. Eden Cemetery Co., " " 

61. People s Undertakers Co., Dallas, Texas. Capital, $4,000; business 1906, 
$75 ; 1907, $100. Began business in 1901. Do about 75 per cent of business of col 
ored people of Dallas county. Give regular employment to four persons. Own 
no hacks, but use those owned by colored men. 

62. Woodland Cemetery Association is a co-operative concern, organized 
for the purpose of purchasing burial grounds. Originally there were 120 mem 
bers, each of whom owns a lot. There are now 15 active members. These re 
tained active membership by assuming all obligations incident to the care 
and keeping of said grounds. Have no capital stock. Invested about $1,000. 
Money for sale of lots used in caring for grounds. Dallas, Texas. 

63. Colored Cemetery, Buena Vista, Ga. Bought twelve years ago. Five 
acres, cost $60. 

64. Hudson Cemetery, Yazoo City, Miss. 

65. Cemetery, Marlin, Texas. 79. 

66. " Mexia, 80. 

67. " Prairie View, Texas. 81. 

68. " Tyler, " 82. 

69. " Neyland, " 83. 

70. " Greenville, " 84. 

71. " Seguin, " 85. 

72. " Daingerfield, " 86. 

73. " Richmond, " 87. 

74. " Milan, Tenn. 88. 

75. " Fort Valley, Ga. 89. 

76. " Americus, " 90. 

77. " Milledgeville, Ga. 91. 

78. " Savannah, " 92. 

Cemetery, Rome, Ga. 

" Cuthbert, Ga. 

" Athens, Ga. 

" Coving ton, Ga. 

" Hawkinsville,Ga. 

" Columbus, " 

" Unionville, " 

" Locust Grove, " 

" Barnesville, " 

" Marshallville, " 


" Adelaide, u 

" Sparta, 

Lawtonville, " 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

93. Cemetery, Griffin, Ga. 







Sandersville, Ga. 
Macon, " 

Cordele, " 

Pinehurst, " 

Denmark, S. C. 
Beaufort, " 
Charleston, " 
Cheraw, " 
Aiken, " 

Columbus, Ohio. 
Enfield, N. C. 

Evansville, Ind. 
Helena, Ark. 
Newport, " 
Fort Smith, Ark. 
New Durham, N. J. 
Minneapolis, Minn. 
Holly Springs, Miss. 
Mound Bayou, " 
Kingfisher, Okla. 
Langston, " 
New Orleans, La. 
New York, N.Y. 
Okmulgee, I. T. 
Ardmore, " 
Taft, " 

Miami, Fla. 
Jacksonville, Fla. 

124. Cemetery, Palatka, Fla. 

-125. " Fesseden, " 

126. " Trilby, " 

127. " Gainesville, Fla. 

128. " Huntsville, Ala. 

129. " Selma, " 

130. u Kowaliga, " 

131. " Normal, " 

132. * Anniston, " 

133. " Tuscaloosa, " 

134. " Florence, " 

135. " Montgomery" 

136. " St. Joseph, Mo. 

137. " Jefferson City, Mo. 

138. " St. Louis, " 

139. " Kansas City, " 

140. " Arlington, Va. 

141. " Cappohosic, " 

142. " Chicago, 111. 

143. " Evanston, 111. 

144. " New Haven, Conn. 

145. " Eatonton, Ga. 

146. " Shady Dale, Ga. 

147. " Monticello, " 

148. " Lexington, Miss. 

149. " Jackson, " 

150. Holly Grove Cem y, Gibbons, " 

151. Cemetery, Chattanooga, Tenn. 

152. " Murfreesboro, " 

153. " Knoxville, " 

154. Nine Cemeteries, Rich mond,Va. : 

Three associations own nine burial grounds with a capital stock of $10,000, etc. 
There must be at least 500 such cemeteries in the United States, and 
perhaps twice this number. 

Section 14. Banks 

The first Negro bank in the United States was the Capital Savings 
Bank of Washington, D. C., opened in 1888. Before that, however, a 
bank had been especially established for the freedmen: 

Pending the continuance of the Civil war, and soon after the colored race 
became a considerable element in the military forces of the United States, the 
safe-keeping of the pay and bounty moneys of this class became a matter of 
great importance to them and their families, and to meet this exigency, mili 
tary savings banks were created at Norfolk, Va., and Beaufort, S. C., centers 
at that time of colored troops. At the close of the war the emancipation of this 
race increased the necessity of some financial agency to meet their economic 
and commercial wants, and in response to this demand, taking suggestions and 
counsel of the expedients that military experience had suggested for the bene 
fit of this people, the National Congress incorporated, March, 1865, the Freed- 
meii s Savings and Trust Company. 

Banks 135 

The incorporators were : 

Peter Cooper, William C. Bryant, A. A. Low, S. B. Chittenden, Charles H. 
Marshall, William A. Booth, Gerritt Smith, William A. Hall, William Allen, 
John Jay, Abraham Baldwin, A. S. Barnes, Hiram Barney, Seth B. Hunt, 
Samuel Holmes, Charles Collins, R. R. Graves, Walter S. Griffith, A. H. Wallis, 

D. S. Gregory, J. W. Alvord, George Whipple, A. S. Hatch, Walter T. Hatch, 

E. A. Lambert, W. G. Lambert, Roe Lockwood, R. H. Manning, R. W. Ropes, 
Albert Woodruff and Thomas Denney, of New York ; J ohn M. Forbes, William 
Clafin, S. G. Howe, George L. Stearnes, Edward Atkinson, A. A. Lawfence and 
John M. S. Williams, of Massachusetts; Edward Harris and Thomas Davis, of 
Rhode Island; Stephen Colwell, J. Wheaton Smith, Francis E. Cope, Thomas 
Webster, B. S. Hunt and Henry Samuel, of Pennsylvania; Edward Harwood, 
Adam Poe, Levi Coffin J. M. Walden, of Ohio, who, with their successors, were 
"constituted a body corporate in the city of Washington, in the District of 
Columbia, by the name of the Freedmen s Savings and Trust Company, and 
by that name may sue and be sued in any court of the United States." 

Section five of the act of incorporation said: 

And be it further enacted, That the general business and object of the cor 
poration hereby created shall be to receive on deposit such sums of money as 
may, from time to time, be offered therefor by or on behalf of persons hereto 
fore held in slavery in the United States, or their descendants, and investing 
the same in the stocks, bonds, treasury notes or other securities of the United 

The Senate committee of investigation said: 

Until 1868 the spirit and letter of the charter seemed to have been recog 
nized very faithfully by the trustees and officers who administered the affairs 
of the company, and until the beginning of 1870 there do not appear to have 
been in the administration any serious and practical departures from the 
kindly and judicious programme indicated in the act creating the institution. 

In May, 1870, an amendment to the charter was secured, which embodied a 
radical and what subsequent events proved to be a dangerous and hurtful 
change in the character of securities in which the trustees were empowered to 
invest the deposits of the institution. Two-thirds of the deposits, that portion 
from which the dividends were expected to accrue, were originally required 
to be invested exclusively in United- States securities, but by the amendment 
referred to one-half was subject to investment, at the discretion of the trustees, 
"in bonds and notes secured by mortgage on real estate in double the value of 
the loan." From this period began the speculative, indiscreet and culpable 
transactions which ultimately caused the suspension of the bank, and disas 
trous losses to a very large extent upon an innocent, trusting and necessitous 
class of citizens. * 

The bank failed in 1874, and no one was ever punished for the swindle. 

The business of the Freedmen s Savings Bank, 1866-1872, was as fol 
lows :t 

* Report of the Senate Select Committee to investigate the Freedmen s Savings 
and Trust Co., 1880. 

f Senate Report, No. 440, Forty-sixth Congress, second session, p. 41, Appendix; 
Ilace Traits and Tendencies of the American Negro, p. 290. 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 


Total Ami. 
of deposits 

each year 

Bal. due 


each Yr. 

1867 . . . 

$ 305,167 
31 260 499 

$ 305,167 
11 281 313 

$ 199,283 

3 684 739 

$ 199,283 
1 ?27 927 


55 000 000 

3 018 670 

Branches of the Freedman s Bank * 


Dates of 

March, 1872 

Atlanta, Ga 
Augusta, Ga 
Baltimore, Md 

Jan. 14, 1870 . . 
March 8, 1866.. 
March 12, 1866 

$ 23,632 57 
72,482 87 
212,588 79 

Beaufort, S. C 
Charleston, S. C 

Oct. 16, 1865 .... 
Jan. 11, 1866 

46,480 92 
291,018 42 

Chattanooga, Tenn 
Columbus, Miss 
Columbia, Tenn 
Huntsville, Ala 
Jacksonville, Fla 
Lexington, Ky 
Little Rock, Ark 
Louisville, Ky 
Lynchburg, Va 
Memphis Tenn 

May 10, 1869.... 
Aug. 1,1870.... 
Dec. 11, 1865 ... 
March 10, 1866. 
Oct. , 1870 
Nov. 25, 1870. .. 
Sept. 1, 1865.... 
June ,1871... 
Oct. 14, 1868.... 
Dec. 30, 1865 

328 41 
14,432 38 
16,879 55 
45,946 89 
83,623 82 
37,279 27 
22,469 83 
127,404 38 
12,741 78 
89,721 43 
134 884 77 

Mobile, Ala 
Montgomery, Ala 
Natchez, Miss 
Nashville, Tenn 
New Berne, N. C 

Jan. 1,1866 
June 14, 1870 . . 
March 29, 1870. 
Oct. 28,1865.... 
Jan. 11, 1866 

106,741 39 
27,414 00 
21,101 73 
101,342 10 
60,262 18 

New Orleans, La 
New York City 
Norfolk, Va 
Philadelphia, Pa 

Jan. 7, 1866 
July 21,18(56. .. 
June 3, 1865 . . . 
Jan 4, 1870 

255,260 79 
337,911 92 
123,447 01 
73 624 39 

Raleigh, N. C 
Richmond, Va 

Jan. 9, 1869 
Oct 18, 1885 

19,459 82 
180 984 3D 

Savannah, Ga 
Shreveport, La 
St. Louis, Mo 
Tallahassee, Fla 
Vicksburg, Miss 
Washington, D. C 
Wilmington, N. C 

Jan. 11, 1866... 
Nov. 15, 1870. . . 
June 27, 1868. . . 
Aug. 22, 1866. . . 
Dec. 3, 1865 
Aug. 1, 1865 .... 
Oct. 24, 1865 . . 

184,087 17 
31,710 81 
66,173 88 
44,221 89 
155,946 29 
760,797 12 
51,689 95 


$ 3,684,739 97 

Amount of Interest Paid by the Company 

From organi/ation to January 1, 1867 $ 1,985 47 

For the year ending January 1, 1868 9,521 60 

For two years ending November 1, 1868 24,544 08 

For the year ending November 1, 1869 43,8% 98 

For the year ending November 1, 1870 59,376 20 

For the term ending March 1, 1971 20,84032 

For two terms ending January 1, 1872 122,215 17 

Total . i $ 262,379 82 

* Report of the Senate Select Committee to investigate the Freedmen s Savings 
Bank and Trust Co., 1880; Appendix, pp. 41-42. 

Banks 137 

At the time of the company s failure, in 1874, it consisted of 32 branches, 
with 61,131 depositors, and the balance due these depositors at the time was 

The total payments to March, 1896, were $1,722,548, leaving a balance unpaid 
of $1,291,121. The present cash balance in the hands of the government re 
ceivers amounts to $30,476. * 

Of all disgraceful swindles perpetrated on a struggling people, the 
Freedman s Bank was among the worst and the Negro did well not to j 
wait for justice, but went to banking himself as soon as his ignorance 
and poverty allowed. 

The Capital Savings Bank, Washington, D. C., 1888 
Capital Stock, $150,000 

In the year 1888 a statement was made on the floor of the United States 
Senate by a prominent Senator that with all their boasted progress, the 
colored race had not a single bank official to its credit. This remark was the 
immediate spur to several gentlemen who believed that the stigma of racial 

incapacity was unjust and who resolved to start a bank, if possible 

On Wednesday morning, October 17, 1888, the doors of the Capital Savings 
Bank were thrown open for business at 804 F street, N. W., Washington, D. C. 
The amount of stock subscribed was $6,000, of which $1,000 paid up in cash. 
The business of the bank was a success from the start. The capital was 
steadily increased, from time to time, until now it is $50,000 paid up, and a con 
siderable surplus. The bank is a voluntary association and owns the large 
bank building at 609 F street, N. W., in the heart of the business section of the 
National Capital, containing some twenty handsome office rooms heated by 
steam. The Capital Savings Bank is now one of the recognized banking in 
stitutions of the city. It stood the strain of the panic in 1893 without asking 
quarter from anyone, paying every obligation on demand, t 

This bank lived about sixteen years and did a large business. It 
finally failed through bad management and some possible dishonesty. 

The Mutual Bank and Trust Co. of Chattanooga, was opened in 1889. 
and failed in the panic of 1893, after a career of four years. 

Tbe Metropolitan Bank of Savannah, failed in 1908. 

These are the only failures so far, but most of the banks are very 
The following is a list of Negro banks taken from Bankers directo- 

* Race Traits and Tendencies of the American Negro, p. 290. 

r Colored Washington: Efforts for Social Betterment, pp. 16, 18. 


i! 3 



Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

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Bank statements and histories follow: 


Bank of the G. U. O. of True Reformers 

(Established 1889) 

1891 . 

...$ 9,811 28 
. . . 55,937 70 

1893. . 

.$ 79,052 79 
. 108,205 98 


.$ 162,433 32 
. 807,995 17 

THE REPORT, August 2, 1902 

From the Finance Department 

From the Real Estate Department 

From the Regalia Department 

From the Reformer Department 

From the Supply Department 

From the Record Department 

From the Old Folks Home 

From the Richmond Mercantile Store 

From the Washington Mercantile Store 

From the Manchester Mercantile Store 

From the Portsmouth Mercantile Store 

From the Roanoke Mercantile Store 

From Fountains 

From Rose Buds 

From individuals 

From societies 

From loans 

From collections 

From exchanges 

From clubs 

From Hotel Reformer . . . 


Cash balance forwarded from the last report 

Total receipts, including balance forwarded 

Total disbursements by depositors, discounts, mortgages, etc. 

Cash balance to date 

Amount of cash handled at last report 

Amount of business done this year 

Total amount of business done to date 

Average monthly business done 

Number of letters received this year 

Number of letters sent out 

Number of letters and packages referred to other Departments. 

Number of depositors at the last report 

Number of new depositors this year 

Total number of depositors. . . . 

STATEMENT, April 6, 1906 



Loans and discounts $ 463,564 21 

Stocks, bonds and mortgages. 5,00000 

Furniture and fixtures 2,500 00 

Checks and other cash items. . 2,555 32 
Due from State Bank and pri 
vate bankers 12,81124 

Specie, nickels, cents 7,150 63 

Paper currency 47,866 00 

.$ 135,737 45 

21,014 00 

7,636 5S 

7,427 32 

. 21,254 13 

77,131 37 

8,127 44 

57,237 92 

11,982 50 

14,946 75 

12,872 49 

5,577 24 

47,659 85 

5,666 71 

259,653 74 

62,228 78 

. 18,391 14 

1,409 44 

(565 50 

14,686 67 

4,793 39 

.$ 796,099 91 

103,229 96 

.$ 899,329 87 

. 820,740 53 

.$ 78,589 34 

6,906,849 38 
1, (516,840 44 

.$8,613,189 82 
. 134,736 70 





.$ 541,447 40 

Capital stock paid in $ 100,000 00 

Surplus fund 86,1*72 00 

Undivided profits, less amount 

paid for interest, expenses 

and taxes 27,807 30 

Time certificates of deposits . 224,083 21 
Individual deposits subject to 

check 102,584 89 

Total $541,447 40 

The bank has paid in dividends to the stockholders $160,350 to date. 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

REPORT, 1907 


Balance from last year 

..$ 78,21676 

(irand Fountain 

..$ 8ft2.7278 

Receipts for year 

. . 1,008,996 40 




. .$ 1,087,213 16 

Rose Buds . 

2,5 24 54 


382,978 06 

1 *-lP% 7OO *7Q 


.. 1,000,811 83 


. . liQ,rf "V* i o 

51,172 52 

Cash Bal. at last report. 

. .$ 86,101 33 


1,617 37 
1,5U3 91 
16 69 
67 84 

Capital stock paid in 
New depositors 
Amount paid in dividends . 

100,000 00 
1,803 00 
18,884 00 

Richmond Division 

6 75 

Amount cash handled at la 



9,171 45 


. . 14,923,240 76 

Business done this year 

. . 2,009,808 22 


.$ 1,008,996 40 

Total $16,933,048 98 

Alabama Savings Bank 

Report of the Alabama Penny Savings and Loan Co., Sept. 12, 1907 

(Established 1890) 


Loans and discounts 


Stocks and bond 

Real estate 

Furniture and fixtures . . 
Cash available . 



210,349 14 Capital stock 

1,497 56 Surplus 

21000 Undivided profits 

51,122 78 Due depositors on certificates. 

2,967 72 Due depositors on demand. . . . 

47,341 26 Dividends uncalled for 

Notes payable 


.$ 313,488 46 


25,000 00 
6,000 (X) 
4,984 03 
49,611 24 
213,385 35 
674 50 
13,833 34 

.$ 313,488 46 


July 15,1902 

July 15, 1903 

July 15, 1905 

July 15, 1906 

July 15, 1907 

Sept. 15, 1906, to Sept. 15, 1907, (9,112 depositors) 

..$ 78,12421 
. . 100,948 .H5 
. . 107,046 (59 
. . 165,177 73 
. . 215,455 26 
.$ 1,0 J9,224 00 

The Alabama Savings Bank was organized August, 1890. One of the consid- 
erations which led to the effort of building a bank was that it might serve as 
a remedy for the squandering of property in our district. During my pastor 
ate in Birmingham there was a family who had two children. Both of the 
parents died, and the property left to the children was squandered. The 
estate was estimated at $10,000. The administrator sold the boy, the elder of 
the two, old horses and carriages in payment for his interest in the estate. To 
make a bond of .$20,000, as was necessary in this case, was impossible for any 
colored person to do. When I saw our helplessness in the effort to help orphan 
children in saving the property earned by their parents, I conceived the idea 
if we had a strong financial institution that could make bonds and save the 
property left to the heirs for their benefit, it would greatly help the race 

The next day after the opening, I took my seat as President and made the 
first loan in the history of our bank. This loan was $10 for thirty days, interest 
50 cents. The last loan I made in the fifteenth year of the bank s existence 
was just before visiting the National Business League, in New York City, 
August, 1905. It was for $14,000, time ten years, with satisfactory interest 
arrangement. The borrower was the Knights of Pythias, of Alabama, for the 
purpose of erecting their magnificent three-story brick building.* 

* National Negro Business League, 1906, pp. 162-4. 



The Wage Earners Loan and Investment Co. 

1*68 W. Broad St., Savannah, Qa. 

(Established 1900) 
Assets at the End of each Fiscal Year 

$ 102 00 

. 1,144 00 
. 2,462 08 
. 11,637 37 
. 14,587 53 

1900 (commenced business) . . . 


1902 . 




190ft 85J49 51 

1907 67,966 90 

Resources Liabilities 

Loans outstanding $ 57,041 14 

Real estate and investments . . 5,717 00 
Office furniture and fixtures. . . 892 71 
Cash 4,816 05 

Capital paid in $ 11,518 35 

Reserve and undivided profits. 6,987 44 

Deposits 49,489 51 

Dividends unpaid 21 60 

Total $ 67,966 90 

Business done in 1906.. 
Total paid up capital. . 
Real estate . . . 


.$ 143,743 65 
10,000 00 
6,000 00 

$ 67,966 90 

This company was organized in October, 1900, with a total paid in capital of 

Mechanics Savings Bank 

511 North Third Street, Richmond, Va. 
(Established 1901) 


Loans and discount $ 


Stocks, bonds and mortgages 

Furniture and fixtures 

Real estate 

Cash on hand: 

Coin $ 488 90 

Currency 861 00 

Exchange 618 95 

Total $ 1,96885 

Due from American National Bank 

Due from National bank and banks of New York. . 

Due from National banks of Virginia 

Other items . . 

5,581 02 
1,241 02 
7,411 73 
2.164 62 
88,159 35 

7,452 07 
2,156 77 
20,168 35 $ 31,747 04 

1,868 08 

Total resources 

$ 138,161 86 


Capital stock paid in. 


Time deposits 

Demand deposits 

Dividends unpaid 

Certified checks 

Total . . 

24,174 32 

6,250 00 

80,167 21 

27,207 40 


149 93 

$ 138,161 86 

The financial report of the Cashier, Thomas H. Wyatt, showed that there 
was $32,616.22 to the credit of the stockholders. The aggregate deposits for the 
year 1907 were $481,243.65, and the gross receipts up to the close of the year, ex 
clusive of furniture and fixtures, were $151,904.48. The Board of Directors had 
declared a dividend of 10 per cent on all of its stock. One of the features, too, 
in this report was the recommendation to erect a fine banking house for the 

142 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Lincoln Savings Bank, Vicksburg, Miss. 

(Established 1902) 

Capital stock $ 10,(XK) 

Surplus 1,150 

Deposits 16,500 

We are five years old. We have many white depositors, and white borrow 
ers have to be kept off with a club, figuratively speaking. We shall be in the 
clearing house which is now being organized in this city. 

One Cent Savings Bank, Nashville, Tenn. 

(Established 1903) 
Loans and discounts $ 17,516 96 

Cash Resources 

Due from banks and bankers 29,655 16 

Checks and other cash items 502 62 

Specie 835 46 

Currency 261 M $ 80,754 24 

Total resources $ 48,271 20 


Capital stock paid in 9 2,140 00 

Surplus and undivided profits, less expenses and taxes paid 1,312 41 

Individual deposits . . 44,818 79 

Total liabilities $ 48,271 20 

I want to give you, in a few words, a comparative statement of our deposits 
for a few months during our existence. In the month of January, 1904, our 
deposits were $11,047.30; in January of the next year, $19,927.11; in January, 
1906, they were $31,676, showing an average increase of nearly $10,000 for each 
year. In April, 1904, our deposits amounted to $10,892 ; in April, 1905, to $16,358.09 ; 
in April, 1906, to $23,870.32. In June, 1904, our deposits amounted to $14,819.82; in 
June, 1905, to $26,759*.5, and in June, 1906, to $36,243.09. So you see, my friends, we 
are gradually growing. Our paid up capital stock amounts to $7,125 ; our total 
deposits on the 30th of June, 1906, amounted to $.55,312.36.* 

Solvent Savings Bank and Trust Co., Memphis, Tenn, 



Loans and discounts $ 15,372 09 

Furniture and fixtures 4,49223 

Expenses paid, less Int. and Ex. collected . . 4,837 90 

Cash Resources 

Due from banks and bankers 
Checks and other cash items 

$ 6,509 (18 
. 5,061 20 
5,275 91 
9,874 00 26,720 74 

Total resources 

$ 51,422 96 

Capital stock paid in 
Individual deposits subject to check 
Certificates of deposit 

$ 7,732 00 
33,040 45 
2,680 06 

Certified and Cashier s checks 
Savings deposits subject to check 

70 00 
7,900 45 

Total liabilities 

$ 51,422 tt 

National Negro Business League, 1900, p. 172. 

Banks 143 

Growth of Deposits 

June 80, 1906 $ 7,586 04 

December 81, 190 18,874 71 

June 80, 1907 $3,207 47 

December 81, 1907 48,620 96 

The Surry Sessex and Southampton American Home and Missionary Bank 
ing Association, Courtland, V a., 1903. Conducted by the Jenkins Benevolent 
and Education Association : 

Business 1906-7 $62,167 83 

Total paid up capital 13,955 00 

Real estate 20,000 00 

In one mile of the town of Courtland, in the county of Southampton. 
Bank of Mound Bayou, Mound Bayou, Miss. 

(Established 1904) 

STATEMENT, OCT. 12, 1906 
Resources Liabilities 

Loans and discounts $ 41,487 88 Individual deposits subject to 

Building and fixtures 7,085 63 checks $ 42,68264 

Expenses 77791 Capital paid in 8,40000 

Overdrafts 81907 Undivided profits 1,01294 

Cash and sight exchange 20,39064 Bills payable 18,46500 

Total resources $ 70,510 58 Total liabilities $70,510 58 

The Bank of Mound Bayou was organized January 8, 1904, with an author 
ized capital of $10,000. We were chartered by Governor Vardaman, who, not 
so much because of kindly feelings towards the members of our race, but 
mainly because of the indomitable perseverance of the Mississippi Negro, has 
been forced to sign more charters for Negro banks than any other man in the 
world, living or dead. Located in a town and surrounded by a community 
whose citizenry is composed almost exclusively of our people, our bank has 
had a splendid opportunity to indicate the Negro s capacity to operate a finan 
cial institution among themselves. Starting without any experience, no cor 
respondents or financial connections, in a one-story frame building, 16x20, it 
has today about $40,000 in resources and liabilities; correspondents and finan 
cial connections in Clarksdale, Miss., Memphis, New Orleans and New York. 
In sending some of our paper to New York this spring for discount to our 
New York correspondent, the Cashier replied that he had placed the amount 
to our credit at 5 per cent per annum and assured us that it was a pleasure to 
serve us. We completed this year and are now domiciled in a two-story 
pressed brick front building, with modern vault, time lock safe and com 
mensurate fixtures. Located in a contiguous cotton territory about 30,000 
acres, one- third of which is in cultivation, and a live hard wood timber indus 
try, we have handled more money in a short while than many larger institu 
tions in larger towns. The total clearings through our bank from September, 
1905, to January, 1906, were more than $300,000.* 

Union Savings and Loan Co., Savannah, Qa. 

(Established 1905) 

Stockholders 450 

Business, 1905 $120,000 

Total capital paid in 14,000 

Real estate 8,250 

Deposits 15,000 

We began business November 8, 1905, with $1,000 paid in. We have purchased 
* National Negro Business League, 1906, pp. 168-9. 

144 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

one of the most desirable localities in this beautiful city. In the heart of 
Savannah, in front of the magnificent post office, just across the square from 
the court house, and in the midst of the banking and business life of Savannah. 
We shall erect a building here that will be a monument to the race. 

We desire that our people everywhere should hold an interest in this great 
and beautiful building. The ground and building complete will cost between 
$22,000 and $25,000, every dollar of which will be owned by Negroes. 

Mechanics Investment Co., Savannah, Ga. : 

Authorized capital $ 25,000 00 

Shares, each 1000 

Afro-American Loan and Investment Co., Savannah, Ga. Established 1906. 
Business done 1906-7, $20,000 ; total paid up capital, $10,000. 

Metropolitan Mutual Benefit Association and Metropolitan Mercantile and 
Realty Co., Savannah, Ga., (incorporated). We are doing a regular banking 
business, paying 7 per cent on yearly deposits on $100 and upwards ; deposits 
in the savings department, 5 per cent. 

We are well equipped with a burglar proof vault, safety deposit boxes, steel 
money chests and time lock. Deposit boxes are now for rent at reasonable 

We handle yearly between $50,000 and $90,000. [Failed, 1908.] 

We have four Negro banks in the city of Savannah ; the oldest one is the 
Wage Earners Bank, established some six years ago ; the next one established 
was the Metropolitan Savings Bank; the third was the Afro-American Sav 
ings Bank, and the next bank which came into existence in Savannah was 
the Union Savings Bank, which I represent. We organized on the 8th day of 
last November with an authorized capital stock of $8,000; we have handled up 
to last month $21,000, and now have a paid up capital stock of a little over 
$5,000. I think thus far we have had remarkable success. * 

Gideon Savings Bank, Norfolk, Va. 

(Established 1905) 

Resources Liabilities 

Loans and discounts 8 9,62288 Capital stock paid in $ 7,187 00 

Banking house 4,19742 Individual deposits subject to 

Furniture and fixtures ......... 2,25462 check 9,99121 

Specie, nickles and cents 95624 Time certificates of deposit 1,71950 

Paper currency 2,044 oo Bills payable 177 50 

Total $ 19,075 21 Total $ 19,075 21 

The Sons and Daughters of Peace, Newport News, Va. 

(Established 1905) 

Loans and discounts 
Banking house 
Furniture and fixtures 
Exchanges for clearing house. 
Due from National banks 
State banks 
Specie, nickels and cents 
Paper currency 

.$ 8,983 25 
24 8ft- 
. 4,000 00 
779 00 
60 87 
. 1,300 44 
. 5,437 08 
255 83 
340 00 

Capital stock 
Deposits subject to check 
Certified checks 
Other items liability 

$ 8,600 00 
.... 8,405 10 
125 00 
4,050 73 

Total ...: 

$21,180 83 

$21,180 S3 

Negro National Business League, 1906, p. ISX). 



Our bank was opened July 4, 1905. The first day we did only $500 of business, 
but we are glad to say that we averaged for the first year over $50,000, and still 
better last year. This year we mean to do even more. The future for our 
enterprise is indeed bright, and we believe our bank is destined to be one of 
the financial strongholds of our people of this section. We are in a vicinity of 
activity. And we are endeavoring to get the people to save systematically, 
which means a business that can be depended upon. So far, we have suc 
ceeded nicely and our patronage is steadily growing ; we have both small and 
large accounts numbering possibly 400 or 500. 

Resources Liabilities 

Loans and discounts $ 8,545 49 

Overdrafts 57 22 

Banking house 4,000 00 

Furniture and fixtures 779 00 

Exchanges for clearing house . 67 86 

Due from National banks 1,500 44 

Due from State banks and pri 
vate bankers 3,450 48 

Specie, nickels and cents 470 85 

Paper currency 1,217 00 

Capital stock paid in $ 8,600 0( 

Individual deposits subject to 


Time certificates of deposit . . 

Certified checks 

All other items of liability, 

viz ... 

6,881 88 
1,980 91 
76 10 

3,100 00 


..$ 20,088 84 


$20,088 34 

Last year our deposits were $60,000 with a thousand patrons more or less, and 
this year we wish to do a great deal more ; for this reason we solicit your busi 

We have recently purchased our banking house, and put in improvements 
and we are prepared to give you every accommodation consistent to our busi 
ness. Take a number of shares of our stock at once. If you cannot take as 
many as you wish, take one or two at any rate. We lend money on easy terms. 

Delta Penny Savings Bank, Indianola, Miss. 

(Established 1904) 
Capital Slock, $35,000 

STATEMENT, OCT. 31, 1907 


Loans and discounts, etc. 

Overdrafts secured 

Banking house 

Furniture and fixtures . . . 

Sight exchange 

Cash on hand . . 


62,119 08 
952 65 
5,000 00 
2,755 50 
27,711 10 
6,107 20 

Capital paid in 
Undivided profits 
Demand deposits 
Time deposits 
Bills payable 
Unpaid dividends 
Cashier s checks 


$ 104,645 58 


..$ 10,90000 

1,1X10 00 

1,814 92 

61,842 68 

14,450 11 

14,000 00 

440 00 

197 82 

.$ 104,645 58 

This bank was organized in October, 1904, and opened its doors January, 1905, 
with total resources of $12,000. January 1, 1906, total resources had increased 
to $36,000; January 1, 1907, total resources had increased to over $50,000. I here 
with enclose you one of our last statements, which will show you that we now 
have total resources of over $100,000. 

Your readers will likely recall the stir that was created some mouths ago 
because President Roosevelt sought to retain a colored woman, Mrs. Minnie 
Cox, as postmistress at Indianola, Miss. So much disturbance was created 
that the President finally closed the post office and Mrs. Cox withdrew from 
the otfice. In the meantime her husband, Mr. W. W. Cox, was a railway pos 
tal clerk. Because of the disturbance Mr. Cox later gave up his position on 
the railroad, and for a while both of them lived out of Indianola. Some months 

146 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

ago, however, Mr. Cox determined to open a Negro bank in Indianola, and I 
can indicate the progress and success of this bank in no better manner than 
to quote the following sentences which have just come to me from a reliable 
business man in Mississippi: 

" Now with reference to Mr. W. W. Cox, of Indianola, Miss., I beg to advise 
that no man of color is as highly regarded and respected by the white people 
of his town and county as he. It is true that he organized and is cashier of 
the Delta Penny Savings Bank, domiciled there. I visited Indianola during 
the spring of 1905 and was very much surprised to note the esteem in which he 
was held by the bankers and business men (white) of that place. He is a good, 
clean man and above the average in intelligence, and knows how to handle 
the typical Southern white man. In the last statement furnished by his bank 
to the State Auditor, his bank showed total resources of $46,000. He owns and 
lives in one of the best resident houses in Indianola, regardless of race, and 
located in a part of the town where other colored men seem to be not desired." 

Progress Savings Bank, Key West, Fla. Established 1905. Stockholders, 44; 
business done in 1906-7, $800; total paid up capital, $450. 

This institution commenced with only $50 capital about two years ago. The 
death of its principal founder, Mr. J. R. Shackelford, a few months after its 
organization greatly retarded its progress. However, there is light ahead. 

Southern Bank, Jackson, Miss. 

(Established 11*06) 

The bank, though but one year old, is in a prosperous condition, having 
earned 22 per cent upon average capital employed. A great deal of good has 
been done for the colored people, through this bank by inducing the people to 
save their earnings, as will be shown from the following statement as made 
to the stockholders. 

The Board of Directors ordered that the earnings be retained in the bank 
during the present financial panic throughout the country : 

Resources Liabilities 

Cash... $12,65377 Capital stock $10,<XX) 00 

Furniture and fixtures 4,107 43 Dep. Sub. stock 27,693 52 

Expense 1;67 77 Savings deposits 11,369 52 

Loans and discounts 4,04969 Undivided profits 2,21084 

Mortgage loans 21,518 96 Cashier s checks 80 05 

1 me from banks 8,06427 Bills payable .10333 

Bills receivable. . . 95 00 

Total $51,45689 Total $51,45689 

American Trust and Savings Bank, of Jackson, Miss., which I have the 
pleasure to represent, opened its doors about two years ago with a paid up 
capita] of only $2,700 and deposits of only $41,000 

This same bank that had such a small beginning in two years time earned 
23 per cent dividend for the first year, and thereby startled the Mississippi 
banking world, while the Xegro bankers sat back wreathed with smiles of joy, 
and the second year this same little bank earned 28.8 per cent; paid to its 
stockholders on the fifth day of last February, 20 per cent dividends in cash 
and placed 8.8 per cent to surplus, after paying all expenses for the year which 
was the largest dividend earned and paid in the State of Mississippi, where 
Mr. Vardaman wields the scepter of state and sometimes shapes the destinies 
of men. And, now in its third year s work, the American Trust and Savings 
Bank has already earned, since February 5th (which marks the beginning of 

Banks 147 

its third fiscal year), the year being only half gone and the capital much 
larger on which to earn this year than last, 12 per cent after paying all ex 
penses. * 

The Knights of Honor of the World Savings Bank was organized in 1902, and 
was domiciled at Vicksburg, Miss., being the pioneer bank of the State; in 
1903, it was decided to change the location to Greenville, Miss., which was done, 
the Lincoln Savings Bank succeeding it at Vicksburg 

The Knights of Honor Bank is capitalized at $10,000, with nearly one-half of 
the stock paid in ; we have a deposit account of nearly $13,000, there being a 
greater demand just at this season for cash than for deposit slips. Our busi 
ness is, as I am told, like most institutions working on a small capital, con 
fined principally to chattel mortgages and short loans, they being a source of 
greater revenue and quicker returns, t 

People s Bank and Trust Co., Muskogee, I. T. Established 1906. Stockhold 
ers, 14; 200 acres of land and several lots in Indian Territory. 

Penny Savings Bank, Columbus, Miss. 

Statement of the Penny Savings Bank of Columbus, Miss., Oct. 10, 1907 

Capital Stock, $10,000 
Resources Liabilities 

Loans and discounts on person- Capital paid in $ 1,920 00 

al endorsements, real estate or Undivided profits 23396 

collateral securities $ 6,08253 Individual deposits subject to 

Overdrafts secured 7170 check 7,12405 

Furniture and fixtures 1,08500 Time certificates of deposit 1,71624 

Expenses 21628 Cashier s checks 282 00 

Sight exchange 61)2 50 

Cash on hand 3,128 24 

Total $11,27625 Total $11,27625 

Of the above amount of loans and discounts 

To officers of the bank $514 70 

To directors of the bank 240 00 

To stockholders of the bank 473 45 

The Forsyth Savings and Trust Co., Winston- Salem, N. C. 

(Established 1907) 

We have done a business of more than $75,000 since we opened in May of this 
year (1907). Total paid up capital, $1,354; capital subscribed, $10,000, to be paid 
in ten annual installments. 

This movement originated with Prof. S. G. Atkins. A temporary organiza 
tion was formed in 1906, January. We tried various plans to raise the money 
necessary to open a bank under State laws. Finally we appealed to Hon. J. C. 
Buxton, State Senator from this county, who secured a special act from the 
General Assembly of North Carolina in January, 1907. We elected officers in 
February, 1907, and opened our doors for business May 11,1907. 



Loans and discounts 

Fixtures, furniture, etc 

Cash due from other banks 

In safe in office 

Other cash ... 

Total $ 10,274 87 

* National Negro Business League, 1906, pp. 180-1. 
{National Negro Business League, 1906, p. 174. 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 


Cash capital 1,354 00 

Time deposits 4,297 45 

Deposits subject to check 2,547 77 

Bills payable 2,000 00 

Undivided profits 75 65 


FROM MAY 11, TO DEC. 24, 1904: 

Total receipts from all sources. 
Paid out for all purposes : 

$ 10,274 87 

47,423 79 

44,157 67 

Volume of business. 

Earnings from real estate loans 

Earnings from all other sources 

$91,581 46 

$ 173 01 
. 211 88 

Total earnings 

$ 384 89 



Interest on time deposits. .. 


Recording papers 

Printing and Ads 

Supplies and sundries 


Total expense 

Balance from earnings 


.$ 148 29 

. 55 50 
26 09 
21 93 

. 14 50 
15 09 

. 22 99 
4 85 

$ 309 24 

75 65 

G. U. O. Galilean Fishermen Consolidated Bank, Hampton, Va. 

Report of the condition of the Grand United Order of Galilean Fishermen Consoli 
dated Bank, at the close of business on the 22d day of August, 1907: 


Loans and discounts 


Other real estate 

Furniture and fixtures 

Checks and other cash items. . . . 

Due from National banks 

Due from State banks and pri 
vate bankers 

Specie, nickels and cents 

Paper currency 


Capital stock paid in $ 8,695 79 

Undivided profits, less amount 
paid for interest, expenses and 

taxes 233 14 

Dividends unpaid 13 32 

Individual deposits subject to 

check 21,45600 

Bills payable 3,000 00 


$33,398 31 

Authorized capital stock 

Total . 

$33,398 31 


St. Luke Penny Savings Bank, Richmond, Va. 



Loans and discounts 

Stocks, bonds and mortgages 

Banking house 

Furniture and fixtures 

Exchanges for clearing house . . 

Due from National banks 

Due from State banks and pri 
vate bankers 

Specie, nickels and cents 

Paper currency 

All other items of resources, 


.$20,987 69 
. 5,(KX) 00 
. 28,000 00 
. 3,798 73 
265 47 
4,838 06 

100 (X) 
5,942 45 
3,641 00 

3,305 90 
.$76,839 30 


Capital stock paid in $20,147 03 

Surplus fund 3,500 00 

Undivided profits, less amount 
paid for interest, expenses and 

taxes 2,488 00 

Dividends unpaid 15 50 

Individual deposits subject to 

check 19,380 22 

Demand certificates of deposit 

Time certificates of deposit 81,308 55 

Bills payable 

All other items of liability 


$76,839 80 

The Union Savings Bank, Vicksburg, Miss. 

Stockholders, 100; business 1906, $250,000; 1907, $300,576.45 ; total paid up capi 
tal, $10,000. 

Co-operative Business 149 

Resources Liabilities 

Loans and discounts $42,01060 Oanital and snmlim u w o 

Overdrafts secured 2 05 46 Undivided promts $280 

rash on hand* flXtUr6S fi SS 21 Individual deposits . . \ " .: \ \ . . \ ! . 86,876 i 

n oana 5,774 41 Time deposits 10,892 91 

Bills payable 2,775 00 

Unpaid dividends 28 08 

Cashier s checks 50 00 

Total $ 49,999 14 Total $49,999 14 

The Capital City Savings Bank, Little Rock, Ark. 

(Established 1903) 

We are lending money to the Negro men of the city ; we are securing them 
credit and accommodation with wholesale houses which they never enjoyed 
before. We are redeeming homes for many Negroes who, in a measure, had 
lost them. At the close of 1905 the entire loss of the first year had been 
covered, and a dividend of 4% per cent declared. Our growth has not been 
anything like phenomenal, but steady and firm. At the close of business, in 
1903, our deposits were $12,000; 1904, $20,000; 1905, $27,000; July 31, 1906, $45,000. 

We started out with one salaried employee, we now have five. The Insur 
ance Department, within less than two years, had passed through the bank 
$20,000, and besides, serving as a financial adjunct to the bank, furnishes em 
ployment to 120 young Negroes. Salaries range from $6 to $20 per week. 

Summing up the whole thing in a nutshell, get up and hustle, some money 
and the co-operation of those interested, have made our bank a success.* 

There are, then, in the United States forty-one Negro banks; twenty- 
seven of these have a capital of $506,778 paid in ; twenty-five have 
$1,387,429 on deposit, and the total resources of twenty-seven of the 
banks are $1,197,005. 

Section 15. Cooperative Business 

The history of co-operative business among Negroes is long and inter 
esting. To some it is simply a record of failure, just as similar attempts 
were for so longa time among whites in France, England and America. 
Just as in the case of these latter groups, however, failure was but edu 
cation for growing success in certain limited directions, so among 
Negroes we can already see the education of failure beginning to tell. 

How co-operation began in church, school and beneficial society, we 
have already seen. During slavery a kind of quasi co-operation was 
the buying of freedom by slaves or their relatives. In Cincinnati, for 

In 1835 there were in Cincinnati, the center of the colored population in 
Ohio, 2,500 colored people of this number, 1,195 had once been slaves, and had 
gained their freedom by purchase, manumission or escape; 476 had bought 
their freedom at an expense of $215,522.04, making the average price of each 
person $452.77. Some had earned their purchase money while still in slavery 
by working Sundays, cultivating a little patch of ground which had been 
allowed them by their masters, and by hoarding the small gifts which would 
from time to time be given the slaves. Sometimes an indulgent master would 
allow a favorite slave to buy his time ; he would then hire himself on a neigh- 

* National Negro Business League, 190(5, pp. 185-6. 

150 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

boring plantation, making some profit by the transaction. Others were per 
mitted to go North, where they would have more opportunity to earn money, 
and here, by dint of hard work and most exacting economy, they would man 
age to collect the price of their liberty. In 1835 there were a large number in 
Cincinnati thus working out their freedom, the masters retaining their "free 
papers" for security. One woman paid for herself $400, and then earned 
enough to buy a little home valued at |600, every dollar earned by washing 
and ironing. The majority of freedom earners, as soon as their own was paid 
for, at once began to work for the freedom of a father, mother, brother or sis 
ter, who were still in slavery. Four-fifths of the colored people in that city 
had members of their families yet in bondage. Of course, it was only the 
kinder and more indulgent masters who would allow slaves to work their 
freedom. * 

We can best see the state of co-operative business among the Negroes 
by studying the experience of a single city, and then turning to a more 
general survey. 

Baltimore + 

From the testimony of many persons, the colored people of Baltimore appear 
to have been actively engaged in all manner of business ventures even before 
the Civil War. These ante-bellum enterprises were carried on generally by 
individual ownership. But immediately after the Civil War, numerous co 
operative movements sprang up among the people all over the city. Co 
operative grocery stores, coal yards, beneficial societies and other kinds of 
business met with marked success for short periods, but each one in its turn 
finally failed owing either to lack of capital or trained business management 
or both. The experience of these earlier business undertakings, like that of 
the later ones, seems to show that the patronage of the colored people, both as 
stockholders and consumers, has never been withheld from any business, 
launched by colored men, that showed the slightest stability or promised 
reasonable values for money expended. Indeed the faith of our people in 
standing by co-operative enterprises in face of the signal failures of co-opera 
tive undertakings among us here, is most remarkable. And at the present 
time, so ready and willing is the support of the masses of the people, that the 
most pessimistic would hesitate to say that the dozen or more co-operative 
enterprises now doing business will not come through all right. Aside from 
two secret orders, the Masons, who own a public hall on North Butaw street, 
and the Nazarites, who own one on North Calvert street, and a few charitable 
institutions, the only successful business carried on in the past has been by 
individuals. Of flourishing establishments of all kinds, conducted by indi 
viduals, we have a great many. 

Why the individual has succeeded while his co-operative neighbor failed is 
not to be answered here. But, that one, in reading the following sketches of 
co-operative undertakings, may not marvel that the same causes for failure 
are given in nearly every case, we will set forth briefly the cause of these 
recurring causes. 

The first cause generally assigned for failure is lack of capital. This is cer 
tainly a real obstacle and well nigh impossible to be avoided. An organization 
on its first legs, so to speak, gets its capital from a people reluctant to part for 
a short time with their hard wrought savings, and when the enterprise in the 
stress of losses and current demands needs additional aid, its stockholders., 

Hlckok: The Negro in Ohio, pp. 111-112. 

t Report by Mr. Mason A. Hawkins of the Baltimore High School. 

Co-operative Business 151 

becoming panic stricken, refuse to invest more money and thus lose all. It 
has been a hard lesson for the colored stockholder to learn, viz: that a non- 
paying enterprise might be made prosperous by the addition of more capital. 
This, however, is not surprising when one considers the poverty of the stock 
holders. He clings every time to what he has. 

A second cause is the lack of trained managers and workers. This also is a 
real cause, which still obtains, because our small business concerns have not 
had time either to graduate persons capable of managing large business or 
any large number of trained helpers, and the opportunity is not elsewhere 

Of the several causes assigned for failure these are the chief. And they 
must continue the causes for some time to come. And yet in spite of these 
real causes, I believe that co-operative stores, like those of England, where 
the stockholders are taught economy, and co-operative building associations 
that will build or remodel dwellings to house poor people comfortably and 
cheaply, ought to be possible even now. 

One general criticism might be made against all co-operative movements of 
the past. That is, the promoters were too anxious to begin business and did 
not wait until the stockholders had paid in sufficient money to insure a fair 
beginning. Of the enterprises cited below, in no case was there more than 25 
per cent of the capital stock available at the opening of the business, and in 
the majority of cases it was much less. If the opening of the business could 
be delayed until sufficient capital was actually in hand; if this capital could 
be held indefinitely and the management placed in the hands of competent 
persons, the success of these movements would have been assured. But in 
many cases there have been no competent managers. In other cases the 
stockholders either ignorantly or otherwise failed to select the best men 
available. And in a number of cases, especially is this true of building asso 
ciations, the stockholders have withdrawn their money prematurely. Almost 
without exception these enterprises, without providing a surplus for increas 
ing business, declared exorbitant dividends. It is said in some quarters that 
dividends had to be made in order to satisfy the clamor of subscribers of stock. 
No doubt this explanation is in part true; but ignorance of sound business 
principles is the chief reason for declaring dividends so large and so early in 
the history of a company. 

There are some people, naturally, who think that the promoters of these 
enterprises cheated the people and themselves benefited. Without attempting 
to prove the honesty of every promoter some have been dishonest the 
causes already assigned, small capital, lack of trained managers, lack of 
trained helpers, lack of almost everything that means success, are sufficient 
reasons for the failure of co-operative enterprises among us in the past. 

Without further comment, I will give such information as has appeared to 
me reliable, although in some instances it may seem somewhat indefinite. 

Douglass Institute 

Prior to the war, the colored people of Baltimore had no place, aside from 
the churches in which to hold public entertainments. To meet this need sev 
eral colored men, John H. Butler, Simon Smith and Walter Sorrell, formed a 
partnership and purchased in 1863 a large three-story brick building on Lex 
ington street, near North, and had it converted into a hall. They named it 
Douglass Institute, after the grand old man from Maryland. Besides public 
entertainments of all sorts, the hall was used as a meeting place for fraternal 

152 Economic Co=operation Among Negro Americans 

orders. Douglass Institute remained as such for twenty years. It was finally 
owned by J. H. Butler. It is now used as an engine house, having been re 
modelled for that purpose. During the period of its use as a hall, it was the 
scene of many brilliant social gatherings and the home of the old style liter 
ary assembly. 

The Chesapeake Marine Railway and Dry Dock Co. 

The Chesapeake Marine Railway and Dry Dock Co., a company owned and 
controlled by colored men, was organized in the year 1865. The company was 
capitalized at $40,000. The stock was divided into 8,000 shares at $5 a share. 
The corporation lived for a period of eighteen years or from 1865 to about 1883. 
The company was for many years very successful. 

Causes which brought the corporation into existence are these: The white 
laboring classes of Maryland organized a movement to drive all free Negro 
labor out of the State. The Negroes had for many years done all the caulking, 
a very profitable employment, and also a business for which Baltimore had 
become famous. Besides this, they were very successful as stevedores, and 
naturally had a large monopoly of the domestic work. The whites tried to 
compel the ship yards to discontinue the employment of Negro caulkers. But 
the 200 or 360 colored caulkers were the most proficient in the State, conse 
quently the owners of ship yards could not afford to take the less competent 
\vhite labor. Failing in their effort to get them out of the work by this means 
and failing to get a bill passed by the State Legislature, compelling all free 
Negroes to leave the State or choose a master, the whites resorted to brute 
force. Without police protection the colored men were fast being driven out 
of the ship yards by the white mobs that attacked them as they went home 
from work, when further attacks of the mob were rendered unnecessary by 
the ultimate agreement of the white ship carpenters not to work in any ship 
yard where colored caulkers were employed. As there were few or no colored 
ship s carpenters, the colored caulkers were thrown out of the yards. 
The movement to procure a yard of their own was started by a number of 
colored men. Meetings were held throughout the city with the result that 
finally $10,000 were raised. Prominent among the promoters of this organiza 
tion were: John W. Locks, Isaac Myers, George Meyers, Joseph Thomas, 
James Lemmon, Washington Perkins, and John H. Smith, who paid the first 
dollar in the organization. Mr. Smith is the only one of the promoters still 
living. It is he, who just related to me, with a memory green and full as of 
the events of early youth, the remarkable struggle of this early Negro enter 

A ship yard, situated at the corner of Philpot and Point street, said to be the 
spot where Frederick Douglass sat on a cellar door and studied his spelling 
book, owned by N. Muller, was bought for $40,000. The $10,000 already paid for 
stock was paid for the property and the balance through a mortgage of $30,000 
to Wm. Applegarth on the yard, etc. At the time the yard was bought the 
majority of the corporation thought it was fee simple property, but instead 
there was a ground rent of $2,000 a year. However, the opinion is, that this 
was the only available place. 

In the first year of the company s existence, it did a much larger business 
than its most sanguine supporters had expected. In its second and third years 
it held Government contracts besides many other large contracts. In the 
fourth year the Government work was lost to the white caulkers because of 
the fact that the colored company could not compete with the whites, the col- 

Cooperative Business 153 

ored caulkers refusing to work for a lower rate of wages. Nevertheless, busi 
ness was prosperous and in rive years the entire mortgage of $30,000 with inter 
est at 6 per cent per annum, a bonus of $1,000 a year, which they had agreed to 
pay so long as a part of the mortgage was unpaid, $2,000 a year ground rent, 
and the wages of from 100 to 200 men earning from $2 to $3.50 per day besides 
other expenses, were paid with the help of a small additional loan. 

In the sixth year of the company s history, a stock dividend was declared ; 
that is, the remaining unsubscribed stock was divided among the stockholders 
in proportion to the amount and age of their holdings. There had been sub 
scribed and paid in all told $14,000, In the seventh year a 10 per cent dividend 
was paid, and for four years thereafter dividends of from 4 to 10 per cent were 

Wrangling over offices the first two years caused loss. Desertion of the 
white boss carpenter came next, followed by his men and colored caulkers, 
together with the loss of a number of patrons; the desertion of the colored 
manager, Samuel Dogherty, with his followers next occurred, and other minor 
desertions caused the company loss of money and prestige. 

After twelve years a series of mishaps wearing away of the fixed capital 
for which no precaution had been taken, occurred. The larger of two railways 
used for docking ships wore out. It took one year to repair it at a cost of $6,000. 
The white firm that repaired it left a flaw, which later caused the ship yard 
a loss of much money and prestige. Ships, in several instances, were wedged 
in the track and were extricated only at a great cost and delay. 

The lack of trained managers was also another hindrance. The colored 
caulkers were most experienced workmen, but none had had any training or 
experience in the role of manager. But the final and greatest cause was the 
refusal of the owners of the ground to release the yard to the colored company 
except at an enormous rate of increase. The ground rent was doubled; that 
is, instead of $2,000 they now demanded $4,000. With the change which had 
now come about in the construction of ships from wooden bottoms to steel and 
with the increasing number of ships of larger tonnage which could not be 
accommodated by the company, the management of the Chesapeake Marine 
and Dry Dock Co. gave up business. 

The stockholders lost outright. It is said, however, that the loss of no one 
person was great as the stock was very widely distributed. 

The organization of the ship company saved the colored caulkers, for they 
are now members of the white caulkers union. The failure of the whites in 
driving out the colored caulkers put an end to their efforts to drive colored 
labor out of other fields. And although the company failed, it must surely 
have been an object lesson to the whites as well as to the blacks of the power 
and capability of the colored people in their industrial development. 

Cash accounts of three later years follow, showing the main causes of 
ultimate failure : 

1. High wages. 

2. Few repairs. 
-. 3. Rent. 

The concern lost money in the Freedman s Bank.* 

*Cf. Section 14. 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 




Total business 
Cash receipts and balances 

Paid out- 
Ground rent 

$ 27,454.95 



$ 20,688.78 


$ 27,783.42 













$ 25,632.15 

$ 19,790.24 

$ 26,395.25 

Bills receivable 

(Dec. 23) 378.17 

(Dec. 27) 178.94 

(Dec. 24) 577.28 

Material on hand 
Bills pavable 



Sinkin 01 fund 

2 000 00 

Co-operative Stores, 1865-1870 

Upon the testimony of several reliable persons we are informed of the organi 
zation of numerous co-operative stores during the period immediately follow 
ing the Civil war, 1865-1870. They are said to have lived for short periods but 
appeared prosperous while they lasted. A man by the name of Deaver is 
mentioned as the manager for one of these stores. 

Following the period of co-operative stores there sprang up several years 
later a Co-operative Building and Loan Association. 

Samaritan Temple 

About 1880 a secret order known as the Good Samaritans formed a joint stock 
company. The stock was sold to individuals and lodges. A building, situated 
at the corner of Saratoga and Calvert streets, was purchased for $10,000. The 
original price, $20,000, was halved by placing a mortgage of $10,000 on the 
ground, subject to an annual ground rent. The hall was unusually large, ex 
tending half the block on Saratoga street, five stories high, with a width of 30 
feet or more on Calvert street. The ground floor was left for business pur 
poses, the second and third floors for halls proper, and the rest of the building 
as lodge rooms. 

From the general use made of the entire building the company should have 
realized a handsome profit. It is now impossible to discover what the profits 
were or what losses the stockholders sustained. After having the property 
for twenty years it slipped out of control of the stock company. Some of the 
promoters of the project were : . George Meyers, Wm. E. Wilkes, J. Seaton, J. 
M. Ralph, I. Oliver, W. H. Chester. 

The Afro-American Ledger 

The Afro-American Ledger, a weekly paper, was started in 1891 by the Rev. 
Win. Alexander and half a dozen others associated with him. The paper cir 
culated at first largely among the Baptist communicants and was regarded 
as the Baptist organ. From a financial standpoint it was very successful, 
numbering at the time of its failure 2,500 paid subscribers. Its failure was 
caused by the failure of the Northwestern Family Supply Co., which had 
bought a controlling interest in the paper and paid for the same by an issue 
of its stock to the original owners of the paper, resulting, unfortunately, in a 

Co-operative Business 155 

total loss to them, as the stock of the Northwestern Family Supply Co. was 
worthless in 1895. The A fro- American Ledger, however, was revived under 
another management, and is today the chief colored organ of the State. 

The North Baltimore Permanent Building and Loan Association 

This Association was organized in 1893 with a capital stock of $10,000. At its 
height it had about forty-five members. Of the $10,000 capital not more than 
$5,000 was paid in. At the expiration of six years the company was dissolved 
without material loss to any one. 

Rev. G. R. Waller was for five years president of the Association. Other 
prominent members were : Benjamin Hamilton, Wm. Fisher, Secretary ; G. W. 
Dyer, Treasurer. 

The Association owned in its own name one large dwelling on Courtland 
street, near Franklin. This dwelling was used as the office of the Association 
and as a night school, which was conducted by the President, Mr. Waller, and 
other members of the Association. 

The cause which brought the corporation to an untimely end was the lend 
ing of money to members on their notes with their stock as security. This 
practice resulted in a gradual retirement of the stock the notes were never 
paid and the collapse of the company. 

The Northwestern Family Supply Co. 

The Northwestern Family Supply Co., the largest co-operative undertaking 
since the failure of the Chesapeake Marine Railway and Dry Dock Co., and 
possibly the largest in its circulation among the people in the history of co 
operative enterprises among the Negroes of Baltimore, was started in 1894 by 
a pork butcher, colored, of Lafayette Market. As the name suggests, the com 
pany dealt in a full line of groceries, meats and other necessities. 

The company was capitalized at $50,000. Stock was sold at $5 and $10 a share. 
It is difficult to say just how much was actually paid in when business began ; 
but at the high tide of success there are said to have been 2,000 members. 

The main store was located on Fremont avenue, near Lafayette, and three 
branch stores were located in different sections of the city. That the com 
pany did a very large business is also attested by the six or seven delivery 
wagons which were kept busy delivering goods to all parts of the city. The 
manager, Mr. Daly, says that one month the gross receipts were $10,000. Ex 
orbitant dividends of from 10 to 20 per cent were paid. 

From the extensive membership, from the very nature of the business, here 
was a company that promised flattering success. But never was permanent 
success less probable nor wan ton ignorance of simple business principles more 
rampant. Had there been only a fair amount of correct business principles 
applied in the management of its stores, the Northwestern Family Supply 
Co. might have been in existence today, a giant business establishment of the 
city and a credit to the race. But nobody knew anything. The clerks in the 
stores could not wrap bundles or weigh out 16 ounces to the pound. The 
butchers they were all butchers could not cut meat; the buyers knew noth 
ing of buying ; there was needless loss on every hand. The general manager, 
unable to neglect his own business, left the unwieldy plant without active 
management. Add to these causes the final blunder, each stockholder was 
allowed to deal out in goods the amount he had paid in stock, and the won 
der is that the corporation lasted two years. The inevitable crash came with 
almost a total loss to the stockholders that had not dealt out their stock in 

156 Economic Co=operation Among Negro Americans 

A very great benefit, however, is claimed for the Northwestern Family 
Supply Co. It is said to have implanted in the breasts of the colored people 
a hankering after business of their own. This much is certain: the seed has 
been sown by some means, for numerous little stores of all kinds, but chiefly 
grocery stores, are scattered throughout the northwestern section of the city. 

The Lexington Savings Bank 

Following in the wake of the Northwestern Family Supply Co., came the 
Lexington Savings Bank. It was organized in 1895 by Lawyer E. J. Waring, 
who was made its President. Some of the stockholders were : E. J. Waring, 
J. H. Murphy, Julius Johnson and others. Its capital stock was $25,000, but it 
started business with not more than $5,000, $2,500 of which was controlled by 
the President, Of the amount held by Mr. Waring $2,000 belonged in equal 
parts to two white men, Messrs. Cooper and Singer. The bank did business 
satisfactorily for a short period. The first large deposit, a deposit of $100, was 
made by Mr. J. H. Murphy. After something less than a year the bank was 
compelled to close its doors. The failure was caused by the loaning of money 
on insufficient security. The loss to depositors and stockholders was insig 
nificant. It is said Messrs. Cooper and Singer lost nothing, but that the Presi 
dent was bankrupted through his business manipulations. 

Although the money loss was slight, the confidence and credit of Negro 
business enterprises and the faith of Negroes themselves in them, were shaken 
as by nothing else because of the confidence and admiration in which Mr. E. J. 
Waring was held. 

The Home Shoe Co., and The Lancet Publishing: Co. 

The last chapter of defunct stock companies can be told in a word : lack of 
capital, lack of active business management, and in case of the first, lack of 
prudence on the part of the Board of Directors. 

Both of these companies were started about the same time, February, 1902, 
and were located in the same building, 600 North Eutaw street. The Home 
Shoe Co. was capitalized at $3,000, to deal in men s, women s and children s 
shoes. The store was opened in mid-season, the middle of August, before 
$1,000 of the capital stock had been paid in. Bad judgment in the selection of 
employees, bad site for store and insufficient capital, were causes of the failure. 

For several months a fairly good business was done, but the money had 
simply to be turned back into stock to increase the line of goods. When the 
time came to put in the spring stock, the capital was insufficient and business 
gradually dwindled until late in the summer, the corporation sold out to one 
of its members for 6 cents on the dollar. 

The total amount of capital paid in was $1,700. The loss was confined almost 
entirely to the twelve Directors, who were the original founders. 

The Lancet Publishing Co., job printers and publishers of a weekly, lasted 
until November, 1905. The plant was owned by nine or ten men, who lost 90 
per cent or more of all they had invested. The exact amount of the loss is not- 

One possibly depressing feature about the failure of these two companies is 
that they were managed and owned by the most intelligent colored men of 
the city, lawyers, doctors, school teachers and business men. But almost with 
out exception these men had no knowledge of the particular business at hand ; 
so that, so far as these enterprises were concerned, they were just as ignorant 
as the unlettered masses. 

Co-operative Business 


The following is a list of certain typical co-operative business con 
ducted by Negroes in the United States. It is not, of course, anything 
approaching a complete list: 

Western Repair Automobile Co., 

Washington, I). C. 
Golden Chest and Freeman Mining 

Co., Denver, Col. 
Star Coal Co., Des Moines, Iowa. 
The Rolesville Colored Saw Mill Co., 

Raleigh, N. C. 
Bruno Manufacturing Co., Boston, 

Razor Strop and Leather Goods Co., 

New York, N. Y. 
Lewis Cigar Co., Philadelphia, Pa. 

(a) Productive Co-operation. 

1. Florida Printing and Improvement 8. 

Co., Jacksonville, Fla. 

2. Hill Horseshoe and Overshoe Co., 9. 

Denver, Col. 

8. Spencer Red Brick Co., Spencer, 10. 
N. Y. 11. 

4. Savannah Mattress Co., Savannah, 

Ga. 12. 

5. Black Diamond Development Co., 

Chicago, 111. 13. 

6. Crescent Manufacturing Co., Lynch- 

burg,Va. 14. 

7. Brown Manufacturing Co., Los An 

geles, Cal. 

(b) Co-operation in Transportation. 

1. Colored Railroad, Wilmington, N. C. 

2. Automobile Co., Nahville, Term. 

3. North Jacksonville Street Railway, Town and Improvement Co., Jacksonville, 


(c) Distributive Co-operation. 

1. Afro- American Co., Baltimore, Md. 

2. Warren Hot Springs Furniture and 

Undertaking Co., Hot Springs, 

3. Relief Joint Stock Co., Little Rock, 


4. Cordele Enterprise, Cordele, Ga. 

5. Colorado Springs Mercantile Co., 

Colorado Springs, Col. 

6. Commercial Pioneer Institution, 

Cambridge, Mass. 

7. Wyandotte Drug Co., Kansas City, 


8. Women s Exchange, Frankfort, Ky. 
W. Sandy W. Trice & Co,, Chicago, 111. 

10. Tribune Publishing Co., Oklahoma 

City, Okla. 

11. Savannah Pharmacy, Savannah, Ga. 

12. The People s Drug Store, Cleveland, 


13. The People s Shoe Co., Atlanta, Ga. 

14. Iowa State Bystander Co., Des 

Moines, Iowa. 

15. Farmers Improvement Co., Paris, 


16. Philadelphia Storage and Cleaning 

Co., Philadelphia, Pa. 

17. Afro-American News, Marlin,Tex. 

18. The Artesian Drug Co., Albany, Ga. 

19. The Advocate Publishing Co., Port 

land, Ore. 
ito. Commercial Shoe Co., Macon, Ga. 

21. Colored Business Men s Association, 

Indianapolis, Ind. 

22. The Students Tea Co., Richmond, 


23. The Kansas City Embalming and 

Casket Co., Kansas City, Kan. 

24. People s Trading Co., Albany, Ga. 

25. Union Publishing Co., Atlanta, Ga. 

26. Gate City Drug Store, Atlanta, Ga. 

27. People s Shoe Co., Savannah, Ga. 

28. Savannah Shoe and Mercantile Co., 

Savannah, Ga. 

29. Little Dan Publishing Co., Ameri- 

cus, Ga. 

30. Franklin County Colored Fair Asso 

ciation, Frankfort, Ky. 

31. Bugle Publishing Co., Frankfort,Ky. 

32. Woman s Loyal League, Grand Rap 

ids, Mich. 

33. The Weldon Co., Brooklyn, N. Y. 

34. New York Age Publishing Co., New 

York, N. Y. 

85. Record Publishing Co., Richmond, 

36. Capitol Shoe Co., Richmond, Va. 

37. St. John s Intermediate Relief, Nor 

folk, Va. 

38. People s Drug Co., Lynchburg, Va. 

39. Mercantile Co., Marlin. Tex. 

40. Langstoii Mercantile Association, 

Langston, Okla. 

Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 


41. The Raleigh Co-operative Grocery 71. 

Store, Raleigh, N. C. 72. 

42. Co-operative Grocery Store, Louis- 73. 

iana, Mo. .- 74. 

48. Pulliam Grocery Co., Talladega, Ala. 

44. American Swiss Commercial Co., 75. 

Los Angeles, Oal. 76. 

45. Afro-American Co-operative Co., 

Los Angeles, Cal. 77. 

46. Canadian Second-Hand Store, Los ^78. 

Angeles, Cal. 

47. California Publishing Co., Los An- 79. 

geles, Cal. 80. 

48. Sunset Investment Co., Los Angeles, 

Cal. 81. 

49. Green Willow Park Association, 

Washington, D. C. 82. 

50. Lake View Park Association, Wash 

ington, D. O. 88. 
61. National Amusement Co., Washing 
ton, D. O. 84. 

52. National Colored People s Co-opera- 85. 

tive Union, Washington, D. O. 

53. Jane Moseley Steamboat Co., Wash- 86. 

ington, D. O. 

54. Sunny South Amusement Co., 87. 

Washington, D. O. 

55. The People s Advocate, Washing- 88. 

ton, D. C. 

56. Colored American Loan Co., Den- 89. 

ver, Col. 

57. Afro-American Co-operative Con- 90. 

cern, Athens, Ga. 

58. Canadian Employment Co., Des 91. 

Moines, Iowa. 92. 

59. Douglass Improvement Co., Des 

Moines, la. 93. 

60. Superior Laundry Co., Des Moines, 

Iowa. 94. 

61. Electric Carpet Dusting Co.. Des 

Moines, Iowa. 95. 

62. Hyde Carpet Cleaning and Moth 

Exterminator Co., Des Moines, la. 96. 

63. Colored American Steamboat Co., 

Norfolk, Va. 97. 

64. White Light Bicycle Co., Norfolk, 

Va. 98. 

65. Virginia Laundry, N orf oik, Va. 

66. Women s Business Association, 99. 

Norfolk, Va. 

67. Women s Exchange, Norfolk, Va. 100. 

68. Satisfied Orchestra, Ft. Worth, Tex. 

69. Ft. Worth Silver Cornet Band Co., - 101. 

Ft. Worth, Tex. 102. 

70. Woman s Grocery Co., Richmond, 

Va. 103. 

Hercules Co., Huntington, W. Va. 

Hampton Supply Co., Hampton, Va. 

Weekly Saving Co., Lynchburg, Va. 

Tidewater Union Undertakers, Nor 
folk, Va. 

Tri-City Auto Co. , Norfolk, Va. 

Oil City Grocery Co., Beaumont, 

Oil City Drug Co., Beaumont, Tex. 

Workingmen s Co-operative Union, 
Hampton, Va. 

Bay Shore Hotel, Hampton, Va. 

Parkwood Cemetery Association, 
Chicago, 111. 

Afro- American News Office, Chica 
go, 111. 

Wyandotte Mercantile Co., Kansas 
City, Kan. 

Wyandotte Cemetery Co., Kansas 
City, Kan. 

Excelsior Grocery Co., Boston, Mass. 

Franklin Burial Association, Bos 
ton, Mass. 

Public Cash Grocery Store, Boston, 

E. B. Haskins Tailoring Co., Boston, 

Coffer & Jerido, Ice Cream Dealers, 
Boston, Mass. 

Armory Hill Carpet Cleaning Co., 
Boston, Mass. 

Amory Hill Carpet Cleaning Co., 
Springfield, Mass. 

People s Coal Co., Baltimore, Md. 

Queen Commercial Enterprise, Bal 
timore, Md. 

Druid Hill Hand and Steam Laun 
dry, Baltimore, Md. 

Good Hope Joint Stock Association, 
Baltimore, Md. 

St. Paul Window 7 Washing Co., St. 
Paul, Minn. 

Colored Co-operation of America. 
Ithaca, N. Y. 

New Amsterdam Musical Associa 
tion, New York, N. Y. 

The Weldon Realty Co., New York, 
N. Y. 

True Reformers Burial Association , 
New York, N. Y. 

United Benevolent Association, 
New York, N. Y. 

Colored Grocery Co., Augusta, Ga. 

Greenwood Grocery Co., Greenwood, 

J. H. Zedricks .& Co., Chicago, 111. 

Co-operative Business 

(d) Real Estate and Credit, 





Industrial Realty and Investment 
Co., Terre Haute, Ind. 

Twin City Realty Co., Winston- 
Salein, N. C. 

Western Realty and Land Co., Tulsa, 
Ind. Ter. 

Masonic Building Association, Sa 
vannah, Ga. 

Pickens Realty and Trust Co., Mus- 
kogee, Ind. Ter. 

Union Investment Co., Jacksonville, 

The Pioneer Real Estate Co., Omaha, 

The Queen Improvement Co., Balti 
more, Md. 

Samaritan Joint Stock Association, 
Baltimore, Md. 

Nazarite Joint Stock Co., Baltimore, 

West End Loan and Investment Co., 
Baltimore, Md. 

Metropolitan Realty Co., Baltimore, 

Industrial Loan Realty Co., Minne 
apolis, Minn. 

United Realty Co., New York, N. Y. 

Building and Loan Association, 
Hampton, Va. 

Cambridge Realty Association, Cam 
bridge, Mass. 

The Orgen Realty Investment Co., 
Houston, Tex. 

18. The Afro- American Real Estate Co., 

Baltimore, Md. 

19. Douglas Investment Co., Pittsburg, 


20. Pittsburg Savings and Investment 

Co., Pittsburg, Pa. 

21. Gold Real Estate and Investment 

Co., Pittsburg, Pa. 

22. Eureka Investment Co., Philadel 

phia, Pa. 

28. Pacific Investment Co., Philadel 
phia, Pa. 

24. Home Extension Co., Philadelphia, 


25. Banner Realty Co., Philadelphia, Pa. 

26. Rhode Island Investment and Loan 

Co., Newport, R. I. 

27. Real Estate Co., Montgomery, Ala. 

28. Southern California Real Estate and 

Investment Co., Los Angeles, Cal. 

29. The Citizen s Investment Co., Den 

ver, Col. 

30. Western Loan Association, Denver, 


81. Hyde Real Estate and Investment 

Co., Des Moines, Iowa. 

82. Enterprise Investment Co., Des 

Moines, Iowa. 

83. Afro-American Realty Co., New 

York, N.Y. 

34. The Mohawk Realty Co., Cleveland, 

Most of these are now in operation, although some few may have 
recently suspended. A great many firms are of a semi-co-operative 
nature, but we are studying those with a number of co-operators 
always three or four, and usually from ten to 100 or more. There follow 
many instances of living and defunct enterprises, illustrating the 
varying kinds of attempts: 

Productive Co-operation 

This is, of course, the most rarely suceesful, as the history of co-opera 
tion among all nations proves: 

The Coleman Manufacturing Company was established in 1897, in Concord, 
N.C., by several colored men, represented by a President and a Board of 
Directors. -They went to work calmly to see whether or not the colored people 
throughout the United States were interested in organizations of that kind, 
and the influx of letters and money that came in tells me, and tells you and 
every one, that the Negro is interested in a cotton factory and has one built 
there in North Carolina, and is going to build another one next year. The 
plant of the Coleman Manufacturing Company is valued at ,$100,000, is a three 
story brick structure that you can set Parker Memorial Hall in the corner of. 

It has a 270 horse power Corliss engine there and machinery that will com 
pare favorable with any in or around Boston 

160 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

We employ between 200 and 230 colored boys and girls, and only last week 
sent to Charleston for 50 more, and just as soon as we begin the building 
of this other mill, in December, we intend to employ 100 colored mechanics. 
We manufacture there cotton goods and yarns. You can judge of the 
machinery there when the greatest machinist in the country, representing 
the great Parker Company, only last week pronounced the machinery in the 
Coleman Manufacturing Company s works the best in Cabarrus county, 
North Carolina.* 

Just as this mill was well started, Mr. Coleman died, and a white 
company bought the mill and is running it with white help. 

The New Century Cotton Mills, Dallas, Texas, began operation and training 
of its operatives January 5, 1903, superintended by trained expert officers from 
the mills of New England. The operatives were gathered from among the 
colored youth of our city, none of whom had ever before entered the door of a 
cotton mill. 

The mill is equipped with 3,000 spindles, complete for making warp yarns, 
and has the latest improved machinery. The main building was a remodeled 
business block, containing, with the new additions, 20,000 feet of floor space, 
with three acres of land in the mill grounds. The textile equipment, sprinkler 
system, private electric light plant, railroad switch, etc., furnish every facility 
and appliance for economical and convenient operation. It has from its first 
inception and will ever be the object of the management to make the mill 
strictly and purely a race institution, representing in every feature the actual 
accomplishments, in their respective lines, of the tradesmen of our race. For 
example, every one of the 500,000 bricks used in the construction of buildings 
were laid by colored mechanics; every piece of lumber or timber framed into 
this mill plant is the work of colored men; the erection of all machinery, 
boilers, engines, lines of shafting and counter shafts, the erection of all textile 
machines, the erection of the complete automatic sprinkler system for fire 
protection and the installing of the complete electric lighting system, were 
all accomplished by colored men, under proper supervision and instruction ; 
and the mill stands today the pride of every laboring man of color within our 
city as the evidence of their ability to do things 

The mill is now employing seventy-two operatives on the day run in its 
various departments, and in this, the eight months since training began, they 
are putting out daily the standard production for which the mill was de 
signed, viz : Three thousand pounds of warp yards per day 

The New Century Cotton Mills has consumed 800 bales of cotton in the first 
seven months of its operation. 

The mill has paid more than $10,000 in wages to its employees. 

The mill has trained 150 operatives, and contemplates running double time 
when the new crop of cotton is at hand. The production is sold in Dallas, New 
York and Boston. We have delivered to one customer 225,000 pounds of yarn.t 

Both this mill and a similar Mississippi venture failed. 

The Southern Stove Hollow-ware and Foundry Company was temporarily 
organized on the 15th day of February, 1897 and was permanently organized 
and incorporated at Chattanooga, under the laws of the State of Tennessee, on 
August 15, 1897. Our charter provides for a capital stock of $5,000, to be divided 
into shares of $25 each, which are sold only to colored people, either for cash 

* National Negro Business League, 1900, p. 207. 
i National Negro Business League, 1903, pp. 54-55. 

Co-operative Business 161 

or upon monthly payments, but in no case is a certificate issued until fully 
paid for. 

The Foundry was built and began operations on a small scale on or about 
October 27, 1897, and has now increased and been perfected until we manufac 
ture stoves, hollow-ware of all kinds, tire grates complete, boiler grate bars, 
refrigerator cups, shoe lasts and stands, and other kinds of castings generally 
made in foundries. We also do a repair business which has now grown until 
it has become a business that pays well and is one of our chief sources of 

The land, buildings, machinery and all patterns are fully paid for except 
part of the stove patterns, and these we are paying for in products of our 
foundry ; and we can say that we are virtually free from debt. Of the capital 
stock authorized we have sold $1,466 worth, and this has all been used strictly 
in equipping the plant; but this sum does not represent now the worth of our 
plant, as all our profits have been allowed to accumulate and have been used 
in business.* 

The enterprise was quite successful, but at last failed for lack of capi- 
tal; nevertheless, in 1900 it was reported from Chattanooga: 

We have two foundries there, owned, operated, controlled and worked and 
run by colored men, capitalized today at $25,000. These foundries have passed 
the stage of experimentation; they are now certainties; they are paying in 
stitutions. Everything they manufacture they have orders for. Their work 
is in demand. They have not as much capital as they need and as they wish, 
but with that amount of capital they succeeded in the manufacture of stoves 
and cooking utensils and skillets, and grates for furnaces and foundries; and 
right there in Chattanooga they have a great demand for that work.t 

Coal mining has been tried: 

Something over a year ago the idea got into the heads of some of us to or 
ganize and conduct a coal mining corporation, and we did, and the Birming 
ham Grate Coal Mining Company came into existence in the city of Birming 
ham, Jefferson county. By some accident of fortune it was my lot to be 
elected president of this company. Our capital stock was fixed at $10,000. We 
leased a rich mine, which was at the time standing idle, and proceeded to get 
hold of some coal 

We leased these mines for five years, paying a royalty for the land. We 
began working and began putting out coal on the 27th of September last year, 
1899. We have mined from that time, mining from 25 to 30 tons of coal per 
day, up to 125 tons per day ; and soon we will roll from the earth to the top and 
put on the cars, 250 tons per day.t 

Spencer Red Brick Co., and the East Ithaca Red Brick and Tile Co., have 
twelve and three members, respectively. Both plants are equipped with up- 
to-date machinery and steam power. Their business is making brick and 
drain tile. Both plants were built, the machinery set and installed by George 
Washington Cook during the years 1906-7. The total paid up capital is $6,000 
and $22,000, respectively, and they own 17 acres and 8 acres. 

Mr. Cook has been in the brick business for the last twenty-eight years and 
for eleven years was manager and superintendent of the Ithaca Building and 
Paving Brick Co., at Xewfield, which position he held at a salary of $1,200 a 

Atlanta University Publication, No. 4. 

j- National Negro Business League, 1900, p. 53. 

} National Negro Business League, 1900, pp. 106-108. 

162 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

year. The last year he was at Newfield he leased the plant with an option 
and sold the same to the Scrantou Fire Brick Co., of Scranton, Pa, He then 
went to Ithaca and built a new plant near Cornell University at East Ithaca, 
on a branch of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. As he was unable to supply the 
trade with one plant, and not wishing to have any opposition in the trade, he 
took up another in Spencer, N. Y., 18 miles south of Ithaca, on two branches of 
the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and formed a Negro stock company. The ma 
chinery of both plants was put up by Mr. Cook. 

The East Ithaca Red Brick and Tile Co. employs 25 men and has a daily 
capacity of 35,000 and 1,500 tile per hour. The Spencer Brick Co., employs 40 
men and has a daily capacity of 50,000. 

The Hill Horseshoe and Overshoe Co., Denver, Col., manufacturing horse 
shoes; membership, 40. In 1907 began manufacturing to the amount of $800, 
having a total paid up capital of $25,000; originated in 1905, incorporated in 
1906, stock selling at 10 cents per share. 

The Black Diamond Development Company was organized October, 1905, 
under the laws of Arizona, with a capital stock of 500,000 shares at a par 
value of $1 per share, full paid and non-assessable. 

The 80 acre leasehold, which it purchased one year ago, being located six 
miles southeast of Chanute, Kansas, Neosha county, and entirely surrounded 
by good producers, has now five large gas wells all complete and their pro 
duct ready for the market. These wells are decidedly above the average in 
size, having a capacity of more than 12,000,000 cubic feet of gas per day. 

March 20, 1907: Since the report on the foregoing pages was made to the 
company there has been continuous development done on the property of this 

Well No. 6 has been drilled and seems to be another good gas well, and is 
located one-half mile south of our other wells and on one of our new proper 
ties. The pipe line is Hearing completion and it is only a matter of a few 
days until we will be delivering gas to the Kansas City Natural Gas Co., and 
our Kansas City friends will be burning Black Diamond Development Com 
pany s gas in their homes and factories. The price of Black Diamond Devel 
opment Co. s stock has advanced to 50 cents. 


The President of the Title Guarantee and Trust Co., New York, writes 
of the founder, W. E. Benson: 

About five years ago he came North with a proposition to buy about 0,000 
acres of magnificent timber and farming land surrounding Kowaliga, organize 
an industrial corporation with substantial capitial, build cheap farmhouses, 
establish small mills, sell on easy terms or lease small farms, teach profitable 
farming and sensible lumbering, develop the turpentine industry, and gen 
erally furnish work through the winter for a population that otherwise would 
be idle, or worse. A number of us helped him organize his company, buy 
his land, and commence the development. At first $20,000 was raised, of which 
$10,000 was furnished by his father and others at home. Subsequently he 
secured $10,000 more for additional land and improvements, and six months 
ago he bought 1,600 acres of turpentine forest to round out his plantation, now 
comprising 9,000 acres, and secured $20,000 additional stock subscriptions so 
that the capital of his company now paid in is $50,000. Its primary object is 
not to make money, and those of us who subscribed were prepared to lose 
our money, but now do not expect to, and it looks as if it might be another 

Co-operative Business 163 

case of wise philanthrophy at 5 per cent or better. The campaign has not 
been an easy one. 

The manager reports in 1907: 

- The Dixie Industrial Company was incorporated under the laws of Alabama 
in 1900, with a capital 6*f $10,000, and secured its first tract of 5,000 acres of land 
with a few dilapidated cabins. The company now has a paid up capital of 
$53,000; owns nearly 9,000 acres of splendid farm and timber land, operates a 
saw-mill, shingle-mill, turpentine still and a plantation store. It has built 18 
cottages and leases 40 farms, furnishing employment to nearly 300 Negroes. 
The company has cleared over 20 per cent on the entire capital invested, 
having accumulated a surplus of more than $12,000 up to date. At the last 
meeting of its directors an annual dividend of 4 per cent was declared and an 
additional capital stock issue of $47,000 was voted, placing the total capitaliza 
tion at $100,000. 

Two annual statements follow: 

1st. December 31, 1901 


Cash on hand $ 1,023 16 

Merchandise on hand 25464 

Secured loans and notes 942 54 

Sawmill plant, cost machinery, tools and 

building 2,000 00 

Real estate, actual cost, 6,478 acres farm and 

timber lands 26,369 00 

Preliminary and legal expense 462 66 

Total $ 31 052 03 

Capital stock paid in ... ... $ 21 ,120 00 

Bills payable 102 23 

Notes and interest on deferred payments on 

real estate 9,777 20 

Surplus balance on profit and loss account. . 52 60 

Total $ 81,052 03 

6th. December 31, 1906 

Cash on hand 

Bank of Wetumpka $ 714 22 

Bank of Alexander City 79 09 

Bank of Montgomery 500 00 

Current cash 410 35 $ 1,703 66 

Bills receivable 2,432 44 

Accounts receivable 8,340 58 10,779 02 

Merchandise and supplies on hand . . H,011 98 

Personal property 10,559 3(5 

Real estate 55,291 59 73,962 88 

Preliminary expense 570 59 

Total $ 87,016 15 

Bills payable- 
Unpaid installments for land and 

other bills payable $ 17,599 86 

Accounts payable 3,147 21 

Capital stock 53,82000 

Surplus, close 1905 $ 7,047 65 

Balance P. and L. statement 5,401 43 

Surplus this date $12,449 08 12,449 08 

Total.. $87,01615 

164 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Oyster Beds 

The Negroes of Warsaw, Ga., are, with a few exceptions, engaged in the oyster 
industry, the men principally as oyster gatherers and the women and children 
as oyster shuckers. Ninety per cent of all the labor employed in the oyster 
industry of the State is Negro. The factories are encoitraging the Negroes to 
lease and plant oyster land and many of them are taking out leases. The 
most important lease is that of the Georgia Benevolent Fishermen s Associa 
tion. The organization is fourteen years old and is the oldest chartered organi 
zation among the oyster Negroes for business purposes. The association has 
45 members and a lease of 2,0(X) acres of oyster ground. The company is doing 
well and reported that they had over $1,000 in the bank. Six of the Warsaw 
Negroes are members of this association. There is another valuable lease of 
oyster lands about 10 miles from Warsaw that is held by Negroes.* 

This kind of co-operation is widespread. 

Co-operation in Transportation 

Jim Crow street cars have led to two interesting experiments, one a 
partial failure and one successful for seven years: 

In Nashville there was an attempt to run an automobile line of carriages. 
About $20,000 was raised by general subscription and expended; but the com 
pany was first cheated by the company selling the carriages, which proved 
too weak for the hills, and afterward the electric company broke its promise 
to furnish power. The company pluckily attempted a power plant but was 
not successful. The carriages ran regularly for several months, and are still 
run occasionally for special parties. 

North Jacksonville Street Railway, Town and Improvement Co., Jacksonville, Pla. 

In 1901 the city council passed an ordinance giving the conductors of the 
street railway the right to assign and reassign passengers to seats in the cars. 
This ordinance was looked upon by many to be worse than a direct separate 
car, for the reason the conductors could seat you in a seat in the car and if he 
wanted that seat for a white person, could make you get up with your wife 
and your girl and compel you to take another. He was also given police power 
to arrest you. This act brought about a strike. Our people, almost to a man, 
stopped riding on the cars. Our leaders met at St. Paul A. M. E. Church in that 
city at a called meeting, and passed resolutions to start a company, to pur 
chase automobile carriages. I was asked by a friend or two to go to this meet 
ing. This I refused to do. I thought this to be my time to go to the city coun 
cil and ask for a franchise to build a colored park and street railway of our 
own to go to. This I did 

The Negroes themselves fought us from start to finish, but the svhite men 
who had the granting of this franchise, said : "We have actually made the 
colored people mad for passing this bill they called obnoxious and by giving 
this grant to them, it will pacify them. They will never build it anyway, but 
we shall clear ourselves." 

And, too, the then President of the city council was a personal friend of 
your humble servant, a man whom we had worked with in the office two 
years previous to this time 

Everybody began to look upon the project to be a practical one and a money 
maker, provided it was properly handled; hence I had gotten a friend of 

Work, in Southern Workman, January, 1908. 

Co-operative Business 165 

mine to assist in interesting two parties in the matter, and the same time I 
was talking with two other parties. We had perfected our arrangements with 
two men to build the road for a described sum. At the same time a banker 
and an outside friend of his were figuring with me on a basis to do the con 
structing for $20,000 cheaper than the original people. The first people heard 
of this and undertook to force me to sign a contract, agreeing to give them the 
price they wanted, which was $20,000 more than the last parties were ask 

The road paid the last quarter as follows: 

To May, collected $ 1,221 05 

To June, collected 1,815 00 

To July, collected 1,5M>0 00 

Our expenditures for the same time as above were $1,555, leaving a clear net 
profit, this quarter, of $3,381.05 

The whites hold the principal of our bond issue, and out of $150,000 capital 
stock they own about $23,000, leaving in the treasury $100,000 of the shares and 
in the hands of the colored men, as our books will show, $25,500. 

The first day we ran our cars we handled 7,220 persons, took in $340 that day. 
In five days after this a park that used to have a sign over the gate, saying: 
"Niggers and dogs not allowed," was torn down, and the following Saturday 
the colored baseball team played a game of ball out there.* 

The white bondholders finally succeeded in foreclosing and getting 
control of the company early in 1908. 

Wilmington, N. C. 

There was an effort in the years 1883-84 to build a railroad from Wilmington, 
N. C., to Wrightsville Sound, a summer resort on the sea coast, 9 or 10 miles 
from Wilmington. It was the intention of Mr. Martin (the superintendent) 
prime mover, to finally extend the road to New Berne, N. C., via Onslow, N.C. 
Rev. Joseph C. Price was elected President, Mr. J. C. Dancey, Secretary and 
Treasurer, and I one of the Board of Directors. 

When 9 miles were graded, some bridges built and crossties put down, Mr. 
Martin died and there being no one found with anything like the push which 
he showed, the company went to pieces. Several years after the whites 
secured a charter, and carried out Mr. Martin s plans. They built the road 
and are now operating it. 

To this section belong the various church publishing houses already 


Here We find naturally the largest number of enterprises and the 
largest percentage of success. There have been and are many co-opera 
tive grocery stores: 

I am identified with what may be termed a combine of co-operative stores. 
The first store was established at Keysville, Va., 1889. The firm name is Wilson 
<fe Co., with a cash capital of $125 ; and $75 was used in buying a site. We com 
menced then with $50 and the motto hung out, " Square Dealing." 

The second store was established in the winter of 189(3 at Evington,Va., with 
a capital of $55. Here we were given three months to stay. The whites said 
to the blacks, " They will only be there three months." 

* National Negro Business League, 1904, pp. 65-8. 

166 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

The third store was established in 1899 in the month of September with a 
capital of $200 at Nameless, Va. After operating for a short time we established 
that in a different community. The other was established by the side of a 
white friend; this was established in the midst of colored people. Our busi 
ness plans at once met our emergencies. Succeeds because every store is dis 
tinct, yet a part of the great store, the system enables us to tide over smaller 
stores without loss; to buy to advantage without risk, because we know when 
and where we can put the goods. Succeeds because there is unity many 
receivers of money but only one paying teller 

From 1899 to 1900 we did business in those combined co-operative stores 
amounting to $18,000. * 

The People s Mercantile Association of Washington, D. C., was organized 
April, 1902, under the laws of the District of Columbia with a capital stock of 
$20,000, divided in 2,000 shares of $10 each, one- tenth share $1. 

The object of the association is to open a department store or stores in the 
District of Columbia and in other cities, and to carry lines of general merchan 
dise. Today we have about 300 subscribers, representing about $4,000. t 

Other instances are : 

Greenwood, S. C. 

The Palmetto Grocery Co., which is composed of Negroes, and is doing a suc 
cessful general grocery business. 

Dover, Del. 

Co-operative store in Dover, Del., which deals in food supplies. It has been 
in operation two or three years and is successful in a small way. 

Richmond, Va. 

The Students Tea Co., with about 150 stockholders, has branch establish 
ments in Petersburg and Farmville, Va. It is a mercantile business dealing 
in teas, coffees, spices and extracts sold through agents. Business 1906-1907, 
$10,000. Total paid up capital, $2,000. 

Little Rock, Ark. 

Relief Joint Stock Co., a retail grocery store on weekly and monthly pay 
ments, having 37 members. Business done 1906, $5,007.45 ; previous years,. 8,000; 
total paid up capital, $3,000. 

The business was organized in 1903. During the two years and six months 
in business we did a very prosperous business until some dissatisfaction arose 
amongst the stockholders, then we were forced to close down June 1, 1907. 

The True Reformers grocery stores belong in this group. Retail dry 
goods stores are less frequent, but growing in number. 

Chicago, III. 

Sandy W. Trice & Co., 1218 State street. Sandy W. Trice, President; A. J. 
Carey, Vice-President; W. M. Farmer, Secretary; Geo. W. Murry, Treasurer. 
A department store run on cash basis. Business April, 1906-7, $14,400 ; capitali 
zation, $15,000; paid in, $10,000. Opened up June, 1900, firm named Trice <fc Wil 
liams. Corporated 1906 as Sandy W. Trice <fr Co. 

* National Negro Business League, 1900, pp. 189-5)0. 
f National Negro Business League, 1902, p. 71. 

Co-operative Business 167 

J. H. Zedricks <fe Co., 939 West Lake street. A corporation. General mail 
order house, manufacturing and selling general merchandise, also selling 
goods by catalogue, correspondence and agents. Business in 1900, $800 ; 1907, 
$500, for first six months. This shows an increase over the same period last 
year. Total paid up capital, $2,500. 

Established in 1905 by Mr. John H. Zedricks, 848 West Madison street, with 
a capital of 60 cents. Have mailed 3,000 four-page circulars, with an additional 
10,000 letters, going to all parts of the world. Have shipped small orders to all 
parts of the United States, as well as to Liberia, Africa, the Republic of Pana 
ma, Cuba and Hayti. Incorporated in 1907 for $2,500 under the State laws of 
Illinois. Twenty-five page catalogue now in hands of printer. 

Publishing has been a favorite method of co-operation. 
A few of the newspapers are owned individually, but most of them by 
groups of stockholders. 

Negro journalism in the United States had its origin in the aspiration for 
freedom. The first Negro newspaper in the United States was begun in New 
York City, March 30, 1827, and was called The Journal of Freedom. Its editor 
was John B. Russworm, a graduate of Dartmouth College of the class of 1826, 
perhaps the first Negro to receive a degree from an American institution of 
learning. Associated with him in the editing was the Rev. Samuel E. Cornish, 
a controversialist of no mean powers. 

This journal had an existence of but three years, and other attempts by 
Negroes to publish newspapers failed of notable success until Frederick 
Douglass started The North Star at Rochester, N. Y., in 1847. The name was 
subsequently changed to Frederick Douglass s Paper, and Mr. Douglass con 
tinued it up to the opening of the Civil War. For length of life, extent of 
circulation, ability of matter contributed and commanding talents of its edi 
tor, the publication was one which occupies a conspicuous chapter in the his 
tory of Negro journalism. 

The number of papers and periodicals devoted to the interest of the Negro 
race has been variously estimated at from 150 to 500. In the newspaper direc 
tories for 1905 was given 140 publications of every class. Accessable data give 
reasons to believe that this number is at least 100 short. In the State of Mis 
sissippi alone there are twenty publications appearing at regular intervals, 
while one newspaper directory gives but four.* 

Drugstores form a favorite line of co-operative effort. An incomplete 
canvass in 1907 showed the following, nearly all of which were con 
ducted by companies of three or more persons: 

Drug Stores 


. 10 


. . . . 5 




. 8 


.... 7 

Rhode Island 

. . . . 1 


. 4 


.... 1 

South Carolina 


District of Columbia. . 

. 14 
. 16 


. . .. 8 


.... 2 


. 21 




.... 11 


. 5 


.... 4 


. 1 

North Carolina .... 

. ... 10 





New York 

.... 5 

Indian Territory 

. 4 


.... 3 

L. M. Hershaw, in Charities, October, 1905. 

168 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Of these 43 reported $189,883 invested and 516 persons employed. The 
total investment may reach $500,000. Four typical stores report: 

The Artesian Drug Co., Albany, Ga. Nineteen members ; two places f busi 
ness. Capital, $1,360. Business: 1905, $16,400; 1906, $20,100. 

The company was launched in 1902, with a paid up capital of $1,360. We 
have been able to declare dividends successively as well as launch a branch 
drug store with a $1,500 stock. 

The People s Drug Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Seventy stockholders. Business 
opened February 1, 1906 ; business done during eleven months of 1906, $4,000; 
paid up capital, $1,300, July 1, 1907. 

Certain men were led to believe that a drug store on a co-operative plan 
could be made to succeed among the colored people of Cleveland. After a few 
preliminary meetings among those chiefly interested, during which time sub 
scriptions of stock at $1 per share were solicited with fair success, it was de 
cided to undertake the enterprise. A pharmacist was secured, and the busi 
ness was launched February 1, 1906, in a building leased for five years. The 
store is neat and attractive, has a good location and is well furnished. It will 
compare favorably with any drug store of its size in Cleveland. 

Savannah Pharmacy, Savannah, Ga. Five members. Business 1906-1907, 
$12,000; capital, $5,000. Incorporated. 

Wyandotte Drug Co., Kansas City, Kan. Five members. Business 1906, 
$18,000 ; capital, $675. 

We have two clerks and a delivery boy, and have what the City Assessor 
says is the third drug store in this city of 104,000 population, by the city census 
of 1907, in amount of stock. 

Undertaking has probably a larger invested, capital than the drug 
business, but this kind of enterprise is usually conducted by individuals 
rather than companies. There are, however, many groups like the 

Moore & Burnett Co., Los Angeles, Cal. Eighteen stockholders. Three 
establishments. Capital, $4,500; business 1906, $7,000. 

Warren Hot Springs Furniture and Undertaking Co., Hot Springs, Ark. 
Partners, 3. Undertaking, furniture, new and second-hand, bought, sold and 
exchanged; cash or installment plan. Formed partnership August, 1907. 
Capital paid up, $5,000. 

J. T. T. Warren has been in the business fifteen years. Each member of the 
firm are property owners. You will find us rated in Bradstreet, I think. 

The Kansas City Embalming and Casket Co., 1014 North Fifth street, Kansas 
City, Kan. A corporation. Organized in 1901 ; capital, $2,000. Business: 

1903. . . .$5,000 | 1904. . . .$6,000 | 1905. . . .$6,000 | 1906. . . .$8,753 | 1907. . . .$9,000 

Cemeteries have already been noticed. They are combined with 
undertaking, and sometimes become business corporations like the 

The Union Development Co. (Incorporated), Louisville, Ky. Owners of the 
Greenwood Cemetery. 

Co-operative Business 169 

Fourth Annual Report, Fiscal Year Ending July 31, 1907 

Receipts from cemetery, etc $ 1,785 25 

Receipts from sale of stock 10175 

Total $ 1,887 00 

Balance brought forward 194 76 

Total receipts $ 2,081 76 


Interest on bonds $ 550 00 

O. M. Phillips US 85 

General expenses, etc 1,84717 

Total $ 2,011 02 

By balance 70 74 

Total $ 2,081 76 

Balance due O. M. Phillips on account pur 
chase 8 4,677 00 

Balance due on bonds 19,900 00 

Total $ 24,577 10 

Assets $ 30,235 00 

Liabilities 24,577 10 

Capital Stock 

Original number shares 6,000 

Total number sold 631 

Balance 5,369 

FRANK H. ANTI/E, Secretary, E. C. MALONE, President, 
1940 Grayson street. 923 Nineteenth street. 

Discrimination in certain lines of retail business often lead to colored 
stores. Clerks sometimes refuse to fit Negroes shoes, hence enter 
prises like the following: 

Commercial Shoe Co., Macon, Ga. Business 1906 and 1907, $3,476.44 ; paid up 
capital, $1,500. Began June 26, 1906, and has steadily gained patronage. 

The People s Shoe Co. (Incorporated), Atlanta, Ga. Number of partners or 
members, about fifty-seven (57); business 1906-1907, approximately $15,000. 

The charter was granted under the laws of Georgia in the year 1901 but re 
mained dormant until October, 1905, when it was purchased by the present 
owners, who sold enough stock to open the business in March, 1906. The offi 
cers are elected by the stockholders at a meeting held in October of each year 
for that purpose and for transacting any other business specified in the con 
stitution of the corporation. 

The business has met with the success expected of it by those who are finan 
cially interested in it, and is gradually increasing. 

A few millinery stores are starting, like the following: 

Women s Exchange, Frankfort, Ky. Number of partners or members, five 
(5) ; business 1906-1907, $1,500; paid up capital, $500. Opened March 1, 1906, with 

We simply desired to awaken interest among our people along business 
lines for women, as there had been so many failures (men) here. We are all 
housekeepers. Had we the entire charge we could soon build a fine business ; 
employ one girl. Each member has a day on "duty" to give direct-personal 
attention to work. Unusual, with women, we have never had one unkind 
word or unpleasant feeling. 

Various forms of house service have developed into co-operative 

170 Economic Co=operation Among Negro Americans 

businesses, as catering, cleaning, supplying cut wood and coal in small 
quantities, etc. 

In Philadelphia a Caterers 1 Supply Co., established 10 years ago, is a 
co-operative concern for supplying dishes, linen, etc., to the members. 
It has a stock worth $10,000. 

There are numbers of establishments like The Model Carpet Cleaning 
and Storage Co., of Philadelphia, which 

Since its incorporation has purchased and is now operating the plant located 
at 610 and <U2 South Seventeenth street. And in June of this year it pur 
chased the building situated at 614 and 616 South Seventeenth street, where 
the general business of the company will be conducted. In this building there 
are two stores, a large banquet and dance hall, and in addition sufficient room 
to hold several hundred loads of furniture. 

The Young Men s Business Association, of Richmond, Va., reports: 
Twenty of us organized by putting up one dollar each. Later we put up 
larger amounts until now each of the company has $250 worth of stock in the 
concern. There are nine other stock holders owning from one to live shares 
each. We made some investments in real estate. We opened the wood and 
coal business in a small way January 1, 1906, at the corner of Adam and Leigh 
streets, where we are yet in business. We first put $500 in the business, and 
later put more until we now have about $3,000 invested. The first year our 
business amounted to $4,311.06; last year we delivered from our yard 689 cords 
of wood and 1,292 tons of coal, amounting to $1.2,859.15. Our sales for the first 
three months of this year are 773 tons of coal and 215 5-7 cords of wood, amount 
ing to $6,381.63. Amount of business done from January 2, 1906, to April 1, 1908, 
$23,551.84. We own 100 acres of timber land 15 miles of our city. We have 29 
stockholders, 20 of whom constitute the Board of Directors. 

Another kind of co-operation is the agriculture fair associations, of 
which there are a dozen or more. A report of one of the most succees- 
ful follows: 

Agricultural and Mechanical Association of Colored People, Lexington, 
Ky. Fifty-seven members, representing 227 shares of stock. Holds annual 
fairs for the exhibition of all kind of farm products, horses, cattle, fowls, etc., 
racing and other amusements. In 1906 our receipts were about $8,000, and 1907 
a little over $10,000. Paid up capital, 227 shares of stock at $10 per share; 
$10,000 in real estate in Lexington, Ky. Organized in 1869, and has been in 
successful operation to the present. The dividends very often amount to more 
than the original cost of stock. 

Real Estate and Credit Societies 

Most of the operations of beneficial and insurance societies fall under 
this head. The early land buying operations began with the Elgin As 
sociation, Canada, in 1850. Some of these are: 

The Elgin Settlement, 1850. Financed by whites and bought by Negroes. 

Within fifteen years from the commencement of the settlement all the land 
purchased by the association was allotted and peopled by one thousand col 
ored settlers. Farms were cleared, houses built after a prescribed model, 
roads opened up, and school-houses, a brick hotel and industrial buildings 

The Dawn Settlement, Dresden, Can., 1842, Purchased 300 acres. 

Co-operative Business 171 

Refugees Home, Windsor, Can., 1852. Forty lots of 25 acres each were 
bought the first year. 

Ohio Settlements. These were made before the war, and with little or no 
outside aid, except in Brown county. In 1840 there were owned in 

Pike county 2,225 acres 

Shelby county 4,286 acres 

Dark county 4,000 acres 

Brown county 

Recent efforts are: 

Calhoun, Ala., 1897. The buying of 3,000 acres by 71 men. Property worth 

Mound Bayou, Miss. Mound Bayou is situated near the center of the great 
Yazoo Delta, in Bolivar county, Miss., about midway between Memphis and 
Vicksburg, and near 20 miles east of the Mississippi river and a like distance 
from the hills that form the western boundary of the delta, the name is de 
rived from a large mound (relic, of a true historic people), situated at the 
junction of two prominent bayous comprising a most important part of the 
natural drainage system of that locality. 

In February, 1888, the first settlers began to move in, not to stop in the town, 
but to occupy log shanties on lands that they had begun to clear ; about a 
month later ground w T as cleared for a small store house and two dwellings, 
one to be occupied by the family of my cousin and the other by my own 
family. There was hardly a spare inch of earth s surface unoccupied by 
vigorous roots, driven foith by the wonderful power of the virgin soil. We 
had to grub a small spot in the front yard to form a safe playground for the 

There being no lands available for cultivation, the community had to adapt 
itself to timber work for subsistence and gradually enlarge farm work as 
lands were cleared. About the year 1890 the original survey of Mound Bayou 
was made, embracing about 20 acres, and a few years later the town w r as regu 
larly incorporated, the charter being signed by Governor A. J. McLauren and 
Hon. Joseph F. Power, Secretary of State. At that time there was one fair 
country store and two small business houses altogether, employing a capital 
of about $3,000 and doing an annual business of possibly $5,000. During a 
period of ten years, various additions have been made till the town now em 
braces about 75 acres, regularly laid out, having more than I 1 /., miles of plank 
sidewalk, lighted with large oil and gasoline street lamps, a population of 400, 
many living in neat and cosy homes, surrounded by a neighboring population 
of over 2,500, largely occupying their own farms, ranging from 20 to (300 acres, 
comprising altogether 30,000 acres, over one-fourth of which is in cultivation, 
producing a variety of crops, mostly cotton, present average production of the 
latter about 3,500 bales. 

The sixth annual report to the League shows over forty business establish 
ments covering nearly every necessity of the retail and supply trade, and em 
ploying an aggregate capital of over $90,000, and doing an annual business of 
about $75,000, to which may be added a post office money order business of 
$20,000 and clearings of the local bank of over $500,000 annually. Mound Bayou 
ranks about tenth among the intermediate stations on the main line of rail 
road between Vicksburg and Memphis, and the depot business amounts to 
something like $30,000 per year, making a total of near three-quarters of a mil 
lion dollars of business, where twenty years ago there was practically none 
whatever. There are eleven credible public buildings, including two graded 

172 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

schools, one public school and town hall, altogether valued at exceeding 

Of the 44 business proprietors, 17 own their places of business, as well as 
homes, while 12 of the remainder own homes or plantations. Only one of the 
principal merchants is not a property holder in the settlement. He owns a 
home and property in an adjoining State. The principal additions to the rank 
of merchants comes from prosperous, energetic farmers who have improved 
their places, lease to tenants, and remove to town for business, educational 
and social advantages.* 

Athens, Ga. More than three years ago in a suburban section of Athens, 
Ga., a meeting was held for giving the farmers a practical talk. It was sug 
gested that they organize into an association. This met with approval, and 
an organization known as the Mutual Benefit Association was formed. The 
object of this organization was the buying of land, the building and improve 
ment of homes, and the construction of a model community school. 

At cotton selling time in the fall of 1900 more than a hundred dollars was 
placed in the treasury. It may be added that the number of active members 
had been reduced to ten because certain ones did not have sufficient funds to 
put in. It happened about this time that a very desirable tract of land was 
offered for sale for debt. This tract contained 40 acres of frontage along the 
public highway, and had a house which though antiquated was serviceable. 
The titles were investigated and by the middle of December the transaction 
was closed. The amount charged for the place was $350. The bond for title 
was secured for $100 and the other amounts were to be made in three payments 
with legal interest. Three years were given in which to pay this money, but 
these energetic farmers succeeded in paying the entire debt in two years. For 
the second payment, December, 1901, $112.50 was raised and last of all $167, with 
which the deed was taken up. In addition to this last amount, enough money 
was raised to take up, the following January, another place which adjoined 
the one previously purchased, t 

The Kowaliga experiment has been mentioned. t Other efforts are 
making at Tuskegee, Ala., Hilton Head, S. C., and elsewhere. 

A remarkable Negro organization is the following: 

The Farmers Improvement Society of Texas. Chartered by the State of 

Total number of branches 415 

Total number of members 1(),()00 

Total number of acres owned by members. . . 70,216 

Number of cows 5,216 

Number of horses and mules 9,860 

Total taxable valuation of members property $1,260,427 

We Pledge Our Members 

1st. To fight the credit or mortgage system, which is the Negro s second 

2d. To improve our method of farming, we want closer attention to busi 
ness, improved stock, better crops and better financial returns. 

3d. To co-operate in buying and selling. We can buy cheaper by buying 
together. By selling together we can sell higher. By co-operation, stores can 
be established and manufactories built and our boys and girls given employ 

* National Negro Business League, 1905, pp. 184-5. 
t Report of Miss Judia Jackson at the Hampton Conference. } Cf. p. 162. 

Co-operative Business 173 

4th. To care for the sick and bury the dead. In this the Farmers Improve 
ment Society excels any organization on earth for the amount of money ex 
pended. For instance: Any branch, no matter how small, can at the end of 
the first year give $1.50 a week for sickness and $20 for death, if you organize 
early enough in the year to follow the General Order No. 6. All this at a cost 
of only 10 cents per month. By sending only $1.05 to the Annual Convocation 
you will give your heirs as much as $100. Besides this you will be cared for in 
sickness as tenderly as though you were paying 75 cents or more per month, 
the usual cost in other societies. A man occasionally gets down at a critical 
period in his crop. Your fellow members will save your crop free of charge. 

5th. To buy and improve homes. The Christian home is the unit of civili 
zation. We believe in good homes and good people inside of them with plenty 
of good food raised at home or bought for cash. We are uniting the race for 
these grand purposes. Besides all this and best of all the Farmers Improve 
ment Society has established an Agricultural and Industrial College in which 
your children will receive a first-class training at a cost of only $50 a year. 

Branches are established in about four hundred different communities in 
Texas and Oklahoma. Meetings are held semi-monthly ; supplies are bought 
under co-operative system in February and November of each year. Compe 
tition among members in raising best crops and stock; agricultural fairs and 
lectures. Amount raised and spent under co-operation in 190(5, $25,000, in 
round numbers; 1905, $15,000; 1904, $7,000. 

No real estate is owned by the organization except halls to meet in owned by 
branches, estimated value $20,000, and about ten stores with average stock of 
about $400. 

Organized by R. L. Smith, December, 1890. The effect of the movement to 
break up the credit system was so marked that in six years other coinmuities 
were induced to accept the plan. 

There are large numbers of real estate companies: 

Afro- American Realty Company, 67 West 134th St., New York City. Three 
hundred and fifty stockholders. Real estate along lines that will better the 
housing conditions of Negro tenants. Methods of operation : buying and leas 
ing , of city tenant property. Paid up capital, $71,520. Real estate owned, 
$483,000 Nos. 24, 26, 28 and 30 W. 136th street; 24, 26 and 28 W. 140th street; 303 
W. 149th street, and 302 W. 150th street, New York City. 

This company has recently been in financial difficulties but still sur 
Mohawk Realty Co., Cleveland, O. Capital, $10,000; 4 years old. 

Commercial Pioneer Institution, Cambridge Mass. Business : commercial, 
real estate, employment, printing, etc. The business is under the direction of 
the President as manager, with the assistance of the Directors and Trustees. 
Business has averaged from $1,000 to $1,200, 1906-1907. Paid up capital, about 
$750; real estate owned, $5,400. 

Twin City Realty, Winston-Salem, N. C. Business 1906, $2,000; 1907, $3,000. 

Industrial Realty Co., Terre Haute, Ind. Eighty-two stockholders. Gen 
eral loan and investment, collecting rents, acting as agents to buy and sell 
real estate. Business is managed by a Board of Directors, consisting of seven 
members. Board of Directors is elected by stockholders. The Board elects 
from its own number a President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary. 
We have been organized just two months. Our net earnings the first month 
were $1.25, the second month $16.60; capital, $245.90. 

174 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

The company was organized in April, 1907. Incorporated under the laws of 
the State of Indiana with a capital stock of $10,000 divided into 2,000 shares of 
$5 each. The subscribers of these shares could either pay cash for them or pay 
for them at the rate of 10 cents per month on each share. At present we have 
sold 732 shares. This brings into the treasury $73.20 per month. When the 
2,000 shares are all subscribed for we will have an income of $200 per month for 
fifty months, when the $10,000 will be paid up. All of this money is put out at 
interest, none of the principal being used for expenses. 

At present none of the officers receive any salary for their services. They 
all follow their respective vocations and look after the interest of the company 
betw r een times. Our leading colored physician gives us office space, light and 
heat free. Other services are not charged for. 

Colorado Mercantile Co., Colorado Springs, Col. Forty-three members ; ar 
ranges short loans. Business, 1904-1907, $20,000 ; capital, $1,970. 

Western Realty and Land Co., Tulsa, Okla. Three partners. General real 
estate business and employment agency in connection. Buy, sell, lease, rent 
and locate land ; collect rents ; agents for other firms and dealers ; secure em 
ployment for colored help, and all work in the above named lines. Methods 
of operation : Buying and selling for ourselves, as well as a general broker s 
business for individuals and larger companies, mostly white, as our President 
is perhaps the best posted land man in the Creek Nation, knowing personally 
the heads or relatives of over five thousand allottees in the Creek Nation. Our 
regular commission is 5 per cent on first thousand dollars and 2% per cent on 
the remaining thousands. Total business done 1906 through this office, $25,000. 
In 1907, up to date, about $12,000; paid up capital, $7,000 ; real estate owned, 
about 3,000 acres, in the Creek Nation. 

Started February 24, 1906. Ottawa Gurley, President; Joe Roach,Vice-Presi- 
dent ; Perry Johnson, Treasurer ; George P. Johnson, Secretary ; W. L. McKee r 
Manager. March 17, 1907, O. W. Gurley was forced to resign and sell his inter 
est, the company assuming his interest. W. L. McKee was elected President. 
On July 22, 1907, Joseph Roach was killed by a train, and his interest was 
bought from his widow and consumed by the company, leaving the officers as 
they now stand. Perry Johnson is a silent partner, residing in Muskogee and 
having charge of the racing track there, owning some of the finest head of 
racing stock in the Southwest. 

Building and loan associations have had several periods of waxing 
and waning; at present they are increasing. 

In 1840 the Iron Chest Co. of Cincinnati, O., accumulated funds and 
erected a block of buildings which still stands. Brackett says: 

A building loan society formed in 1867, in South Baltimore, handled from 
$12,000 to $15,000. The shares matured in seven years. Another society was 
formed in 1881, and another in 1886. The membership was never very large. 
The par value of each share was $125, issue of shares limited to 1,000. 

Another series of associations in East Baltimore, in 1868, had 100 members 
and probably facilitated the purchase of forty or fifty houses. 

At the Hampton Conference, in 1898, seventeen building and loan 
associations were reported in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Dis 
trict of Columbia, Virginia, Georgia, Florida and Arkansas. An account 
of several follows : 

The Bureau Building and Loan Association, Philadelphia, Pa. Six hundred 
members. Assists its members to purchase homes. Monthly savings on the 
fourth Thursday of each month ; $41,586.79 in 1906-1907 ; assets, $139,308.65. In 
corporated February, 1888. Money loaned at no higher rate than 6 per cent. 

Co-operative Business 


There have been secured through its aid 140 homes for as many Negro fami 
lies in the city of Philadelphia, which have an average valuation of $2,500, or 
an aggregate value of $350,000. The average monthly receipts of the associa 
tion is $3,000, and the assets $125,000. The association has paid to the stock 
holders of matured stock within the last six years $75,200. On Thursday, the 
24th instant, the eleventh series will have matured, when $7,550 will be paid, 
making a grand total of $82,750 paid to the stockholders within the last six 
years, which represents the accumulated savings of the 500 members connected 
with it. 

The Western Building and Loan Association, Muskogee, I. T. Members, 44. 
We sell shares on monthly installments and build for members, taking first 
mortgage on property. Twenty-four hundred dollars worth of business in 
1906, $2,500 in 1907 ; capital, $2,500. Two lots in Reeves Addition, Muskogee, I. T. 
Organized January 27, 1906; incorporated February 7, 1906. 

Norfolk Home Building and Loan Association, Norfolk, Va. About 500 
shares of stock subscribed; making loans to stockholders for home building 
improvement; business, $3,500 for 1906; for 1907 to July 1, $3,700; author 
ized capital, $50,000; weekly payments 25 cents per share on stock. 

The enterprise was organized January 1, 1906. The growth was very slow 
first year; much more rapid this year. Loans are made to stockholders on 
their stock secured by mortgage on real estate. Have loaned about |6,000 in 
sums ranging from $50 to $1,000. Numbers are availing themselves of this 
opportunity to purchase or build small homes and pay for them on weekly 

Pioneer Building and Loan Association, Greensboro, N. C. Eight hundred 
and five shares held by about 100 members. Branches at High Point and 
Ashboro, N. C. Twenty-five cents per share per week collected from mem 
bers and put to purchase and improve homes. Each share at maturity will be 
worth $100. We lend on real estate and on stock, but make it a point to own 
more directly. 

Organized in 1902 by a man who had previously organized two in Wilming 
ton, N. C. the first Negro association in this State. Now we have more than 
a dozen in this State. Association is composed exclusively of Negro stock 
holders, except two white men, who are experienced bookkeepers and 
accountants, and w T ho serve upon our finance committee. This association has 
lent to its stockholders for the purchase of homes, etc., nearly $12,000. It is 
earning larger profits per share than any other organization of its kind in the 
State. It proposes to establish a bank in Greensboro as soon as the proposed 
one now under consideration in Winston is finally finished or disposed of; 
that is, as soon as the permanent organization has been well perfected. 


$ 377 87 

8,799 0(> 

193 80 

905 96 

2,061 41 

131 50 



1 98 

1,298 09 

$13,803 86 


Balance from third year. 

Dues $ 2,162 50 

Interest 113 79 

Expense 277 29 

Bills payable 1,761 70 
Admission fee 
Withdrawal fee 

Transfer fee 

Bills receivable 5 50 

Real estate loans 4,094 15 

Stock loans 4,576 72 

Dividends 78 17 

Cash on hand January 1, 1907 610 16 

Total $13,803 86 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

A ssets 
Cash on hand January 1, 1907. 

Stock loans 

Real estate loans 

Dues unpaid 

Fines -." 

Interest unpaid 

Taxes advanced 


Bills receivable 

Office supplies 


\ 610 16 

6,6<> 2 45 

11,930 85 

100 25 

16 35 

24 SO 

42 26 

4 50 

52 82 


.$19,447 57 


Dues advanced. 


Bills payable. .. 
Profits . 


.$16,053 50 
62 75 
17 71 

. 1,713 15 
. 1,600 46 

.$19,447 57 

Exhibit of Series 


No. of 

No. of 


Am^t paid 
per share 

per share 

per share 




$54 50 

$10 50 

$65 (K) 




50 00 
45 75 

8 09 
6 19 

58 09 
61 94 




37 75 

4 30 

42 05 







27 25 

3 03 

1 58 

35 7H 

28 83 




20 75 
11 00 

1 05 

21 80 
11 36 




3 25 


3 2S 











Total . . 

Profits Per Series 

. $ 357.06 


. 346.69 


. 130.46 


. 207.31 





Twin City Building and Loan Association, Winston-Salem, N. C. Persons 
subscribe for so many shares, and pay weekly until the stock matures. We 
work along building and loan lines. Amount of business done since October 
10, 1903, $30,113.38. 

The Twin City Building and Loan Association was organized October 10, 
1903. Since this time it has built more than twenty homes for our people. 

Twin City Building and Loan Association 

(For the Year Ending December 31,1906.) 
Assets Receipts 

Loans on mortgages 

Loans on shares 

Real estate acquired by pur 

Cash in bank 

Furniture and fixtures 

Interest due and upaid 

Fines due and unpaid 

Total .. 

.$ 9,825.00 Cash on hand Dec. 31, 1905 

813.33 Installments paid 

Loans or shares paid. . . . 

167.69 Interest received 

236.14 Fines received 

47.80 Entrance fees 

95.84 Transfer fees 

23.35 Borrowed money 

Stock loan fees 

.$11,208.65 Passbooks , 

Real estate 









Total $ 7,211.06 

Co-operative Business 



Due shareholders, installments 

paid $ 6,086.25 

Due shareholders, earnings 

credited 504.50 

Due shareholders, matured 

shares 700.00 

Borrowed money 2,500.00 

Interest on borrowed money 19.27 
Balance to be paid on loans 

made 865.00 

Surplus 504.18 

Dividends due and unpaid 70.00 

Assessment... 9.45 

Total $11,208.65 


Loans on mortgages $ 4,585.<X> 

Loans on shares 860.38 

Paid on withdrawals, dues 1,278.95 

Salaries paid 88.00 

Advertising and printing 12.28 

Interest paid 135.55 

Rent paid 34.50 

Taxes 27.97 

Dividends on redeemed shares. . 20.00 

Fuel, etc 14.70 

Paid on real estate 167.69 

Cash on hand Dec. 31, 1906 

Total $ 7,211. OH 

Central Trust Building and Loan A ssociation, Jacksonville, Fla. Lends on 
30, 60 or 90 days time. Business : 1906, $12,500 ; 1907, $15,000 ; capital, $10,000. 

Organized 1902 to operate a building and loan association for the protection 
of our people. 

The Cherry. Building and Loan Association, 1440 Lombard street, Philadel 
phia, Pa. One hundred and fourteen members. Business: 1906, $8,591; 1907, 

Organized by members of the First African Baptist Church principally. 

Receipts $ 14,584.02 



Liabilities, 726^ shares. . 






Amount paid 
per share 

Profit pei- 

Total worth 
per share 



$1,000 00 

$ 144 00 

8 56 00 

$ 200 00 



120 00 

144 00 

56 00 

200 00 



460 00 

138 00 

52 90 

190 90 



50 00 

132 00 

48 40 

180 80 



50 00 

126 00 

44 10 

170 10 



2,265 00 

120 00 





44 00 

114 00 

86 10 

150 10 



124 00 

108 00 

32 40 

140 40 



800 00 

102 00 

28 90 

180 90 



6,800 00 

96 00 

25 60 

121 60 



5,440 00 

90 00 

22 50 

112 50 



3,004 00 

84 00 

19 60 

103 60 



1,<!06 00 

78 00 

16 90 

94 90 



819 00 

72 00 

14 40 

86 40 



3,200 00 

66 00 

12 10 

78 10 



724 18 

60 00 

10 00 

70 00 



1,470 00 

54 00 

8 10 

62 10 



2,650 00 

48 00 

5 60 

53 60 



3,612 50 

42 00 

4 90 

46 90 



1,000 00 

36 00 

3 60 

39 60 




4,400 00 
8,202 00 

24 00 

2 50 
1 60 

32 50 
25 60 



1,110 00 

18 00 


18 90 



2,700 00 



12 40 



6 00 


6 10 

WorMngmen s Loan and Building Association, 111 Seventh street, Augusta, 
Ga. Corporation, 75 stockholders. Building homes for stockholders and 
dealing generally in real estate. Receipts: 1905, $5,773.16; 1906, $4,809.47; 1907, 
$4,547.15; dividend declared, 6 per cent per annum. We have a surplus of 
$6,028.35 ; capital, $9,450 ; real estate, $7,152. Organized April 1, 1889. 

178 Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 


Loans $ 7,271 44 Capital stc 


$ 9,450 00 
402 85 
6,028 35 

Cash on hand 1,32976 Bills paval 
Real estate 7,152 00 Undivided 
Office fixtures -" 1 ^T 50 

Total $ 15,880 70 Total . . 

$15,880 70 

Profit Account 



. ..$ 574.85 

The Pittsburg Home Building Co., 5638 Penn avenue, Pittsburg, Pa. Forty- 
three stockholders. Real estate, buying, building and selling, and also rent 
ing. Company s business is conducted by a Board of Directors of nine mem 
bers. Rents collected for company, $3,575.62; rents collected for clients, 
$2,672.81; capital, $25,000; owns 3 flats. 

The colored citizens came together July 1, 1901, to buy and build better 
houses for our people in the city of Pittsburg, as this city had very poor 
accommodation for the citizens of this race. They only could get old houses 

Other associations are operated at New Albany, Ind. ("prosperous, 
with valuable property") ; Raleigh, N. C. ; Baltimore, Md. (five asso 
ciations); Claremont, Va., and Philadelphia (nine, including those 

The secret societies have many building associations: 

Pythian Mutual Investment Association, Charleston, W. Va. Five hundred 
and seventy stockholders. Branch establishments, Huntington, W. Va. Real 
estate and investment. Business 1906-1907, $49,006.97 ; paid up capital, $21,259.42 ; 
real estate owned, $38,368.19. Organized and incorporated January 9, 1902, 
under the laws of the State of West Virginia. Business has been successfully 
conducted, a 6 per cent dividend paid each year. 

The Odd Fellows Hall Association, composed of the various branches of the 
order and the individual members thereof, was organized December 30, 1889, 
and subsequently duly incorporated under the laws of the District of Colum 

The price of each share of stock was fixed at $10, and the number of shares 
issued was not to exceed 5,000, nor the real or personal property to exceed 
$50,000. Its income is $7,000 a year and its capital $35,000. It owns a hall. 

The District of Columbia has a Masonic Hall Building Association with 300 
members, which does a business of renting houses and halls. Shares at $10 
each are sold. From September 1, 1906, to September 1, 1907, a business of 
$11,875.37 was done. The property owned is valued at $35,000 and "consists of 
a large hall, corner Fifth and Virginia avenue, S. E., 3 houses, 743, 745, 747 Fifth 
street, and a hall at 1111 Nineteenth street N. W., Washington. The organiza 
tion was founded in 1893. It was out of debt by November, 1905, and is still 
out of debt. 

There are many trade unions like the following: 

The Colored Longshoremen of New Orleans will hold their annual election 
on the 29th instant. They have one of the largest organizations in existence 

Group Economy 179 

in all the South. The active membership is upward of 1,400 in good standing. 
They have their own drug store, and employ several physicians to attend 
their sick. One of the physicians gets a salary of $1,400 per year, and another 
gets $900, payable quarterly. The affairs of the association have been put in 
first-class shape during the past two years. A great debt which accumulated 
under previous administrations has been paid off, and today the longshoremen 
of New Orleans are in better shape than ever. 

The dues, fees, assessments and taxes of this association amount to upwards 
of $25,000 per annum, and the expenditures for sick benefits, pensions, funerals, 
drugs, rent, salaries of physicians, druggist and other officials, amount to 
almost as much. A glance at the figures for one year s transaction alone, will 
prove that the longshoremen association of New Orleans is probably handling 
more finances than any other colored concern of the kind in this country. All 
this business is conducted by Negro intelligence and brains. 

Section 16. The Group Economy 

We have studied the various forms of co-operation, but there is a 
larger form which I have elsewhere called the Group Economy. 

It consists of such a co-operative arrangement of industries and ser 
vices within the Negro group that the group tends to become a closed 
economic circle largely independent of the surrounding white world. 
The recognition of this fact explains many of the anomalies which 
puzzle the student of the Negro American. 

You used to see numbers of colored barbers; you are tempted to think 
they are all gone yet today there are more Negro barbers in the United 
States than ever before, but also at the same time a larger number than 
ever before cater solely to colored trade where they have a monopoly. 
Because the Negro lawyer, physician, and teacher serve almost ex 
clusively a colored clientage, their very existence is half forgotten. 
The new Negro business men are not successors of the old ; there used 
to be Negro business men in New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore 
catering to white trade. The new Negro business man caters to colored 
trade. So far has this gone that today in every city of the United 
States with a considerable Negro population, the colored group is serv 
ing itself with religious ministration, medical care, legal advice, and 
education of children : to a growing degree with food, houses, books, 
and newspapers. So extraordinary has been this development that it 
forms a large and growing part in the economy in the case of fully one- 
half of the Negroes of the United States and in the case of something 
between 50,000 and 100,000 town and city Negroes, representing at least 
300,000 persons the group economy approaches a complete system. 

This study can best be closed by a picture of this group economy of 
one city of 70,000 Negroes: 

The Negro Group Economy of Philadelphia, 1907 

Lawyers 14 Artists <> 

Dentists 11 Chiropodists 4 

Druggist 1 Occulists 2 

Physicians 28 Electrical engineers 2 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 


Graduate nurses 

Music teachers 


Antiques : 



Bands of music 


Bootblack parlors 

Boot and shoemakers . 


Brass melter 

Building and loan associations. . 



Steam carpet cleaning 


Caterers and confectioners 

Cigar manufacturers 

Cigar and tobacco dealers 

Cleaning and dying 

Coal and ice dealers 







Dry Goods 

Employment agencies 

Express and hauling 


Fruit and produce 


Gents furnishing 


Hair culture and manicure 



Ice cream parlors 

Insurance agents 

Insurance companies 














. 9 

. 8 

. 80 

. 2 

. 7 



. 24 
. 4 
. 2 
. (5 
. (5 
. 2 
. 20 
. 4 
. 35 
. 47 

Job printers 16 

Junk dealers 15 

Laundries 12 

Livery stables 6 

Loans 2 

Manufacturers 10 

Masseurs 5 

Meat dealers 3 

Metal signs 1 

Milk dealers 5 

Millinery 2 

Moving pictures 2 

Newsdealers 9 

Newspapers 20 

Orchestras 4 

Painters 2 

Paperhangers 4 

Photographers 4 

Poolrooms . 6 

Provision stores 3 

Real estate 18 

Restaurants 83 

Patent medicines 4 

Saloons 2 

Second-hand goods 2 

Shoe dealer 1 

Stationery 3 

Stoves 2 

Undertakers 11 

Upholsterers 12 

Whitewashing 8 

Wholesale medicine 1 

Corporations 32 

Real estate owners 802 

Clergymen (heads of churches with 

28,000 members) 

Secret societies (lodges) . 

Political clubs 

Other clubs 

Charitable organizations. 


Day nurseries 

Social settlements 

When one remembers that in every city and town in the United 
States where Negroes live a similar co-operative economy is growing 
up and developing, one gets in microcosm a picture of the co-operative 
development beginning among Negro Americans. 

Above and beyond this is the effort to mold Negro opinion by news 
papers and organizations. The chief National Negro Conventions have 

1&30, Philadelphia (annually until about 1836). 
1847, Troy, N. Y. 
1852, Rochester, N. Y. 
1856, Chatham, Canada. 

Twelfth Atlanta Conference 181 

1864, Syracuse, N. Y. 

1879, Nashville, Tenn. 

1890, Rochester, N. Y. The Afro-American Council. (Annually since). 

1900, Boston, Mass. The Negro Business League. (Annually since). 

1905, Niagara Falls, N. Y. The Niagara Movement. (Annually since). 

Section 17. The Twelfth Atlanta Conference 

The Twelfth Atlanta Conference met in Ware Memorial Chapel, May 
28, 1907, President Horace Bumstead, presiding. The following was the 
programme : 


First Session, 10:00 a. m. 

President Horace Bumstead, presiding. 

Subject: " Business as a Career." 

Address : Mr. R. P. Sims, Bluenelds, W. Va. 

Second Session, 11:30 a. m. 

Subject: "Health and Business." 
Address : Dr. L. B. Palmer. 

Third Session, 3:00 p. m. 

Tenth Annual Mothers Meeting. (In charge of the Gate City Free Kinder 
garten Association), Mrs. Hattie Landrum Green, presiding. 
Subject : " Co-operation for the Children." 

1. Kindergarten songs, games and exercises by 100 children of the four Kind 
ergartens : 

East Cain Street Miss Ola Perry. 
Bradley Street Mrs. J. P. Williamson. 
White s Alley Miss Ethel Evans. 
Summerhill Mrs. John Rush. 

2. Paper Mrs. John Rush. 

tt. Paper Mrs. Irene Smallwood Bowen. 

4. Reports of Contributions to the 1907-8 Kindergartens. 

Fourth Session, 8:00 p. m. 
President Horace Bumstead, presiding. 
Subject: "Co-operative Business." 

"The Meaning of Co-operation" Mr. W. E. B. Du Bois. 
" Co-operation "Mr. N. O. Nelson, St. Louis, Mo. 

"Co-operation and Immigration" Mr. George Crawford. New Haven, Conn. 
Remarks: Rev. Byron Gunner, Columbia, S. C. 

The Resolutions adopted are printed on page 4. 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 


Alabama, Migration from, 

Alabama Penny Savings Bank, 


African Travellers, Testimony of r 

African Migration, 

African Methodist Episcopal Church r 

African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 

Agriculture in Africa, 

American Colonization Society, The, 


Atlanta, Ga., 

Atlanta University Conference, 

Baltimore, Md., 


Bank Statements, 


Baptist Schools, 

Beneficial and Insurance Societies, 

Beneficial Societies, 



Black Diamond Development Co., 

Boston Schools, 

Brown, John, 

Building and Loan Associations, 

Burean Building and Loan Association, 


Capital City Savings Bank, 

Carey, Lott, 

Carnegie Institution, 


Chatham Convention, 

Cherry Building and Loan Association, 

Chesapeake Marine Railway and Dry Dock Co., The, 

Church Schools, 

Church, The Negro, 


Co-operation in Transportation, 

Co-operation Among Negroes, 

Co-operation of Freedmen, 

Co-operative Business, 

Coleman Cotton Mills, 

Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, 



Cotton Mills, 



13, ff. 



71, 72, 81 





92, 150-56, 179 








26 ff.,47, 48,97,98 

45, 46, 69 

131-134, 168-169 




157, 164, i65 


159, 160 


159, 160 



Cost of Negro Schools, 

Cuffe, John and Paul, 

Davis Bend, Miss., 

Denominations, Other, 

Development of Co-operation, 

Development of Negro Churches, 

Distributive Co-operation, 

Douglass, Frederick, 

Drug Stores, 

Eaton, Col. John, 

Economic Conditions of Africa, 



Emigrant Aid Societies, 

Farmers Improvement Society, 

Free African Society, 

Freedmen s Bank, 

Freedmen s Bureau, 

Freedmen, Schools for, 

Fugitive Slaves, 

Galilean Fishermen, 

Gileadites, League of, 

Group Economy, The, 

Hall, Prince, 

Hayti, Migration to, 

Henson, Josiah, 

Homes and Orphanages, 


Howard, General O. O., 

Income of Insurance Societies, 

Income of Churches, 

Insurance and Beneficial Societies, 

Insurance Societies, 

Insurance in Virginia, 


Iron in Africa, 



Knights of Pythias, 


Land Buying, 


Louisiana, Migration from, 

Markets in Africa, 

Maroons in Jamaica, 


Masons, Origin of, 

Mechanics Savings Bank, 

Migration of Negroes, 

Money in Africa, 

Mound Bayou, 

Mound Bayou, Miss., 

91, 92 




24 ff. 

157, 158, 165-170 

167, 168 

33 ff. 

13 ft 
125, 126 


172, 173 

21 ff., 45 




179, 180 

22 ff. 

130, 131 

32 ff. 



99, 100, 104, 109 



13 ff. 




45, 46, 47 

49, 50 



22 ff. 



171, 172 


Economic Co-operation Among Negro Americans 

Nashville Convention, 

National Baptist Publishing Board, 

Negro Church and Co-operation, 

Negro Conventions, 

Negro Exodus, 1879, 

Negro Governors, 

Negro Missionaries, 

Negro Union of Newport, R. I., 

Negroes and Public Schools, 

New York, 

Newspap ers, 

North Carolina, Migration from, 

Obeah Worship, 

Odd Fellows, 



Petersburg, Va., 

Philadelphia, Pa., 

Pioneer Building and Loan Association, 

Private Schools, 

Productive Co-operation, 

Public Schools, 

Real Estate and Credit, 

Ross, Dr. A. M., 

Russwurm, J. B,, 

Saint Luke s Order, 


Secret Societies, 

Scope of this Study, The, 

Shoe Stores, 

Singleton Colony, 

Sons and Daughters of Peace, 

Spencer Red Brick Company, 

Texas, Migration from, 

Trade in Africa, 

True Reformers, 

True Reformers Bank, 

Tubman, Harriet, 

Twin City Building and Loan Association, 

Types of Co-operation, 

Underground Railroad, The 

United Brothers of Friendship, 



Warsaw, Ga., 

West Indies, 

Western Realty and Land Company, 

Xenia, Ohio, 

Zion Methodists, 



54 ff. 

54 ff. 






96, 97, 179 






157, 159 

159, 170-179 




93, 109-128 




16 ff. 
103, 134-137 


54 ff. 

26 ff. 






71, 72, 81 



The proper study of mankind is man" 


The Atlanta University Publications 


No. I, Mortality among Negroes in Cities; 51 pp., 1896. Out of 

Mortality among Negroes in Cities ; 24 pp., (2d ed., abridged, 

1903). 175 copies, at25c. 
No. 2, Social and Physical Condition of Negroes in Cities ; 86 pp., 

1897; 737 copies at 50 cents. 
No. 3, Some Efforts of Negroes for Social Betterment; 66 pp., 

1898. Out of print. 

No. 4, The Negro in Business; 78 pp., 1899. Out of print. 
No. 5, The College-bred Negro; 115 pp., 1900. Out of print. 

The College-bred Negro; 32 pp., (2d edition, abridged). 

1,321 copies at 25 cents. 
No. 6, The Negro Common School; 120 pp., 1901. 77 copies at 


No. 7, The Negro Artisan; 200 pp., 1902. 644 copies at 75c. 
No. 8, The Negro Church ; 2 1 2 pp., 1 903. 363 copies at $ 1 .00. 
No. 9, Notes on Negro Crime ; 75pp., 1904. 1 , 1 26 copies at 50c. 
No. 10, A Select Bibliography of the Negro American; 72 pp., 

1905. 1,281 copies at 25 cents. 
No. 11, Health and Physique of the Negro American; 112 pp., 

^ 1 906. 343 copies at $ 1 .00. 
No. 12, Economic Co-operation among Negro Americans, 184 pp., 

1907. 1,500 copies at $1.00. 

We study the problem that others discuss 


THE achievements of races are not only 
what they have done during the short 
span of two thousand years, when with 
rapidly increasing numbers the total amount 
of mental work accumulated at an ever in= 
creasing rate. In this the European, the 
Chinaman, the East Indian, have far out= 
stripped other races. But back of this period 
lies the time when mankind struggled with 
the elements, when every small advance 
that seems to us now insignificant was an 
achievement of the highest order, as great 
as the discovery of steam power or of elec 
tricity, if not greater. It may well be, that 
these early inventions were made hardly 
consciously, certainly not by deliberate ef 
fort, yet every one of them represents a 
giant s stride forward in the development of 
human culture. To these early advances 
the Negro race has contributed its liberal 
share. While much of the history of early 
invention is shrouded in darkness, it seems 
likely that at a time when the European 
was still satisfied with rude stone tools, the 
African had invented or adopted the art of 
smelting iron. _ Franz Boas 



198 Main Stacks 







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